'Enemies of peace targeting me'

Ravi Shankar says his work in Kashmir and Jharkhand has angered many

'Enemies of peace targeting me'

“Who else can do this? Many youths, who had chosen violent path, quit violent means and accepted peaceful means due to my peaceful initiatives and message. These youths hail from Jammu and Kashmir, Bihar, Jharkhand and Chattisgarh. Moreover, we operate around 100 schools in tribal areas of Jharkhand, West Bengal, Tripura and Chattisgarh. All these initiatives might not have gone well with those breeding violence,” he said.
He clarified that he had not received any threatening calls from those tribal areas where his Ashram managed schools.

He felt he was targeted “for converting the youths for constructive purposes.” The 54-year-old spiritual guru was briefing mediapersons at his ashram near Talaghattapura on Kanakapura Road in Bangalore, a day after the shooting in the ashram. Terming the incident as unfortunate, he said: “Now I leave it to the police to probe the incident. It is up to the police to ascertain the motive behind the incident. I have no enemies in my life.”

On speculation about some insider’s hand in the incident, he rejected such a possibility outright “It really pinches me when such baseless allegations are levelled. If there are any insiders in the incident, I would be the first person to expose them and hand over them to the police.”

On the delay in informing the police about the shooting, he said it took about 45 minutes for those inside the Ashram “to figure out what exactly had happened”.
It would take more than half an hour for the nearest police station officials to rush to the Ashram. Moreover, there were about 9,000 devotees and there was heavy downpour of rain. He did not want to create panic among devotees. He needed “to downplay the incident to avoid confusion, chaos and panic, lest a stampede take place”, he added.
“The injured devotee, Vinay is calm and cool. In fact, I am surprised to see his reaction. He told us to forget the incident as a bad dream. Everything in the Ashram is as usual and normal,” Ravi Shankar emphasised.

“It is totally false to presume the incident occurred due to land grabbing. A land dispute did exist with a family in a nearby village, but it was solved long back. It’s sheer lie to make such allegations. Hence, I request media not to twist facts,” he averred. “I travel extensively all over the country meeting people. Tightened security will create a wall between me and my disciples. Hence, I have rejected the security. But, around 5000 foreign devotees visit the Ashram every year. I am worried about their safety. Hence, the police should provide security to the foreign visitors,” he requested.
DH News Service

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