Thursday, November 19, 2009

We'll take up arms if threats rise: Jain seer

Ahmedabad: Jain religious leaders have given the state government an ultimatum of 48 hours, demanding that the crime branch probe into the recent death of Jain monks in road mishaps yield concrete results. A Jain seer went so far as to say that Jain monks may have to carry scriptures in one hand, and arms in the other to defend themselves.

The religious leaders gave the ultimatum on Monday at Palitana where they had gathered for the 'gunanuvad sabha' (condolence meeting) for the monks who recently died in mysterious road mishaps. The Jain community blames the organisation, Anoop Mandal, for their deaths, alleging that the Mandal was committed to spreading hatred against the Jain community.

Around 25 acharyas of various Jain sects, more than 800 Jain monks and thousands of lay Jains attended the condolence meeting at Palitana. Acharya Abhaydevesuriswarji Maharaj Saheb, who recently received an anonymous letter threatening him with death, said he was deeply worried about the security of Jain monks.
"If necessary, Jainacharyas will have to carry shaastra (religious scripture) in one hand and shastra (weapon) in the other," he said. "Several Jain monks have died in road accidents in recent years. There seems to be some kind of conspiracy against Jain monks."

All acharyas present at Palitana agreed to Abhaydevesuriswarji Maharaj Saheb's suggestion that an ultimatum of 48 hours be served on the government, asking it to act fast in the accident cases. In Surat, too, Jains held a meeting to express concern over the threat to Jain sadhus.

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