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The Rediff Interview/Cho Ramaswamy

'Police must have acted on evidence'

November 12, 2004

Cho Ramaswamy, political analyst and editor of the political magazine, Thuglaq, is said to be close to the Kanchi Mutt. A few hours after the arrest of the Kanchi Shankaracharya, Cho spoke to Shobha Warrier about the fallout from the controversial turn of events.

What kind of political repercussions will the arrest have on Tamil Nadu politics?

I don't see any political repercussions, though a section of Hindus will be hurt by the arrest.

But I feel the police and the government would not have taken action against him unless they had clinching evidence. I don't think they would have proceeded on mere suspicion or allegations because he is a very important person, representing the sentiments of crores of people.

In any case, I don't see this creating any great political impact.

Jayalalitha is supposed to be very close to the Shankaracharya. So did this arrest come as a surprise?

The police, in my opinion would have acted on strong evidence. It would come out later. Even those who are now hurt may later feel after all the action was justified. That, I would say, may come about later.

Will this affect Jayalalitha's political fortunes in the coming elections?

As I said, though a section of Hindus may be hurt now, they will come around to the opinion that her action was justifiable.

Do you think the chief minister and the Tamil Nadu police acted under pressure because of the comments made by Karunanidhi?

Karunanidhi started talking about the case after rumours started floating about what happened there. In fact, I have also been talking about it in the last 3 to 4 days, enquiring whether any action had been taken.

That was the talk going around. Obviously the matter leaked out from the police. Only after that, Karunanidhi started talking about it.

The murder victim, Shankara Raman, was small fry in the Mutt. Do you feel the Shankaracharya would have hired goondas to murder such a man..

The police wouldn't have acted if they did not have strong evidence.

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