Puri Shankaracharya Swami Adhokshyanand has invited separatist leaders from various states for a meeting during Kumbh-2013 to discuss their issues and problems. The Swami, who met Kashmiri separatist leaders in July, said that he has kept the Government of India in the loop.
Talking to The Indian Express, he said: “Devotion apart, Kumbh Mela is also an opportunity to discuss issues of conflict existing in society and work towards a solution. It is in this context that a congregation of such leaders would be held from February 5 to 15.”
He added that he had extended the invitation to the separatist leaders of Kashmir during his visit to the Valley in connection with the Amarnath Yatra.
“I had met Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Yasin Malik and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who represent virtually the entire spectrum of All Party Hurriyat Conference, and extended them an invitation for Kumbh. They had expressed their willingness to be here,” he said, adding that the three leaders were in touch with him over phone and were likely to come to Sangam.
Further, he has extended his invitation to the leaders of the United Liberation Front of Assam and those of the Bodo movement. “I am in touch with ULFA leader Raju Barua. Also, some leaders of the Bodo movement have been invited,” he said.
Swami Adhokshyanand was earlier in news when he spoke against Baba Ramdev, following police action against the yoga guru at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan in 2011.
Asked about the controversy over his claims of being the Shankaracharya of Puri vis-à-vis that of Swami Nischalananda Saraswati, he said: “This has been a problem in all the maths where there has been more than one claimant for the title. I have got the responsibility since February 2, 1995. My job is to work towards reducing tension and conflicts in our country, particularly in the border states.”