Karnataka Jain Monk Murder: Seer withdraws agitation, says he forgives killers

Hubballi (Karnataka): Karnataka’s prominent Jain pontiff Gunadharanandi Muni Maharaj withdrew his fast unto death agitation on Monday and said that he has forgiven the killers of a monk in Belgavi.

Earlier, he had announced fast unto death agitation in support of his demands — protection for religious leaders and CBI probe in the murder of Jain pontiff in Belagavi. Speaking after withdrawing the agitation, Gunadharanandi Muni Maharaj stated that the killers should not be punished harshly and let there be change in their hearts.

Home Minister Dr. G. Parameshwara met him at his ashram in Varur and held a meeting. “Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Deputy CM D.K. Shivakumar and Dr. G. Parameshwara have spoken with me and I am withdrawing my agitation,” he said.

This agitation will not be a political one. All political parties support the ashram. The guilty in the case of Jain swamiji must not go through rigorous punishment. “We practice nonviolence. Let there be change of heart in murderers. I forgive them,” he stated.

“Parameshwara had agreed to our demands. We have faith in him. He had come here in spite of cabinet meeting and I thank him. Let there be peace in Karnataka. Panch Peeth math seers stood by us. Even Muslim religious leaders also showed their solidarity with us,” he said.

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Minister for Home Parameshwara stated, ” Kamakumaranandi Maharaj was hacked to death brutally. This has never happened in the history. The accused have been arrested and investigation is on. Many things may be revealed during the course of investigation. But, the incident is not the result of negligence by any authorities.”

“The pontiff has placed demands of protecting Jain religious pontiffs during their transit times and protection for Jain ashrams. The government will take action in this regard,” he said.

“The state should not witness incidents like this. This is a brutal murder and political colour should not be given to the incident such as this. They should stop talking that there are invisible hands behind the incident,” Minister Parameshwara stated.

Reacting to the allegation that the government is protecting the accused persons, he said, “these statements should not have been made. There is no reason to hand over the case to the CBI”.


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