The state government has roped in CID (crime) to investigate the alleged scam of killing Jain holy men/women in the guise of road accidents, but the community leaders want results. The Jains have given an ultimatum till Wednesday to the Gujarat government to make headway in the investigation or they have they threatened to intensify the silent agitation.
Saurashtra on Tuesday saw a widespread protest by Jains in the form of silent marches and scooter rallies by the four Jain sub-sects: Derawasi, Sthanakwasi, Digambar and Rajchandra. The protests have been organised following the death of four sadhaks last week in two different road accidents, where the victims were mowed down by speeding four-wheelers.
The conspiracy theory arose after the son of one of the holy men killed in a road accident near Mehsana filed an affidavit in the court, claiming it to be a pre-planned murder and one of several in a series of such crimes.
The Anup Mandal has come under suspicion due to its alleged remarks that religious practices of Jain holy men have resulted in a drought-like scenario.
The ultimatum was given at the end of a Monday meeting at Palitana— the second most important pilgrimage seat located in Bhavnagar—that was chaired by Acharya Abhaydev Sursishverji.
The meeting was attended by over 25 acharyas and 800 priests, who emphasised that the priests, who walk from one place to another and do not use vehicles, must be given protection.
Sursishverji, who also received a threat mail, has said that the Jains will begin an intense agitation if the police do not make headway in the case by Wednesday.
At Rajkot, members of all the four sub-sects took out a silent scooter rally on Tuesday and submitted a memorandum to the collector. This was the second day of the protest.
“We strictly condemn such acts. Saints must be given protection from negative elements,” said Chandrakant Sheth, a Jain leader from Rajkot.
Similar protests rallies were organised at Morbi, Jamnagar and Amreli.