//Swami accuses VHP for marring iftar Police begin probe

Swami accuses VHP for marring iftar Police begin probe

Tuesday October 17 2006

KOZHIKODE: The Medical College police have started investigation into the VHP attack on the iftar meet organised by Swami Viswachaithanya, a film director-turned sanyasi at his Viswachaithanya Mandalam ashram near Karanthur on Sunday evening.

Though the police are tight-lipped about the probe, sources said the inquiry has been focusing on four individuals identified by Swami Viswachaithanya.

The newly-formed ashram hosted the Iftar on Sunday evening in which about five hundred guests were invited. Religious discourses by scholars also were arranged on the occasion. But the function was disrupted after a few ‘VHP activists’ barged into the venue and destroyed food and furniture. The Express team visited the Ashramam on Monday and talked to the Swami who is performing the role of a saint and a family man simultaneously.

Recalling the incidents at the iftar meet, the Swami said the ashram’s decision to host the iftar despite warnings from VHP leadership had provoked the miscreants.

According to Viswachaithanya, he preaches non-religious spirituality and his principles have been extracted from the ‘Arsha Bharata’ concept.

‘‘The VHP men who came here in the morning asked me to stop preparations for the iftar meet in which non-vegetarian items also would be served. They also said that iftar is an Islamic custom and it would be improper for the ashram to host the event. But for me every one is equal and I feel no difference between religions,’’ Swami said.

However, the routines at Viswachaithanya Mandalam were not disturbed by the presence of police or media. The Swami, undaunted by the attack, has vowed to go ahead with his charitable activities aimed at promoting communal harmony. ‘‘I will host feasts on the occasion of Onam and Christmas also,’’ he said.

The devotees, including his wife and mother, claim that Swami has got supernatural powers and he used to take fruits, jewels and ‘tulsi’ leaf from vacuum and give them as ‘prasadam’ to the believers after meditation