CPM wants Centre to go ahead with Ship canal

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Chennai, Sept 22: The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) on Friday said that the Central Government should continue with the Sethusamudram Ship Canal Project without any further delay.

"We don't consider the issue of the Adam's Bridge as an obstacle. There is no scientific evidence to show that this is a man-made formation," CPI-M General Secretary Prakash Karat said.

Hindu groups have called on the government to stop the Sethusamudram Ship Channel Project, saying it would demolish the mythical bridge linking India and Sri Lanka, believed to have been built by Lord Ram.

Opposing the 560 million dollars project, they say it would destroy the Ram Setu, a 48-kilometer chain of limestone shoals that once linked Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu to Mannar in Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile, R K Venkatesh, an advocate in the Madras High Court, has filed a complaint against Chief Minister M Karunanidhi for the latter's remarks on Lord Ram.

The complaint, filed in the Madras High Court, has sought the removal of Karunanidhi from the post of Chief Minister.

Venkatesh has contended that the Karunanidhi's remarks questioning Lord Ram's existence have wounded his religious feelings.

"He has wounded the feelings of Hindu religion and Hindu god, Lord Rama," said

Venkatesh has accused Karunanidhi of committing offences under section '295 A' (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) and section 298 (uttering word etc. with deliberate intent to hurt religious feelings) of the Indian Penal Code.

On Sunday, Karunanidhi had questioned the existence of Ram while addressing a rally in Erode.

He said that Rama was an imaginary character, and asked: "Was Rama a civil engineer?" which created hullabaloo.

The controversy, which was sparked off following an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court in connection with the Sethusamudram Project is unlikely to die down even though the Central Government has withdrawn it. The affidavit inter alia had stated that there was no historical evidence to establish the existence of Lord Rama or other characters in Ramayana.

The two officials of the ASI, Director Administration, Chandrashekhar, and Assistant Director of Monuments, V Bakshi were suspended following an inquiry conducted by ASI Director General A Vaish.


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