Torching Bus: MK condemns Ram Bhaktas

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Chennai, Sep 19: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi today condemned ''Ram Bhaktas'' for burning alive two people, by torching a Tamil Nadu State Corporation bus and launching a violent attack at his daughter's house in Bangalore last night over the ''Ramsethu'' issue. Talking to newspersons here, the DMK leader said, ''by resorting to such violent attacks, the Ram Bhaktas have exposed their culture and true colour.'' Condemning the incident, Mr Karunanidhi expressed his deep condolences to the bereaved families.

Mr Karunanidhi, whose remarks about Lord Ram, provoked the activists of some Hindu organisations to resort to the violent acts, stood by his remarks, while answering a question.

On the charge by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Rashtriya Swayam Sevak (RSS) that his remarks against Lord Ram were responsible for the violent incident, the Dravidian patriarch said that he stood by his remarks and reiterated that there was no historical evidence to show that Lord Ram had built the ''Ramsethu.'' ''History had no evidence to show that there was a person called Lord Ram lived and he was an Engineer, competent enough to build a bridge. I had made this remarks and what is wrong in this,'' he retorted.

Mr Karunanidhi said saint ''Valmiki, in his Ramayana, had said more than what we had said about Ram and what are they (BJP and Hindu organisations) have to say for this."

Asked whether he would convey his condemnation to the Karnataka government and demand action for the incidents, Mr Karunanidhi said it was the duty of the Karnataka government to initiate action. ''They will do their duty and we will do our duty,'' he said. Replying to a question, the DMK leader said ''some people were unnecessarily blowing out of proportion the Lord Ram issue.'' ''These people are against the Sethusamudram Shipping Channel Project (SSCP) and they look out for lame excuses to stall the implementation of the project,'' he said.

''Definitely,'' Mr Karunanidhi said when asked whether the DMK government would prevail upon the Congress-led UPA Government at the Centre to go ahead with the implementation of SSCP.

''We have convened an all-party meeting here on September 24 to convey to the Centre that it should go ahead and implement the project,'' Mr Karunanidhi said.

Earlier, Union Health Minister Dr Anbumani Ramadoss and Union Minister of State for Railways R Velu called on the Chief Minister at his residence and discussed about various issues.

The issues figured in the more than 90 minute talks, included the inauguration of the much awaited Salem Railway division and the controversy over the Health Ministry's move to make one year rural postings for medicos compulsory.

UNI

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