Shankaracharya urges caution in freeing prisoners

Berhampur: Voicing unhappiness over the proposed prisoner swap with Maoists to secure release of two hostages from their captivity, Puri Shankaracharya Swami Nischalananda Saraswati today said all aspects should be considered while making any move in this regard.

Though similar swap deals had been made earlier in some places, the government should do this after considering all aspects, the Shankaracharya told reporters here.

Expressing concern over the growing Maoist and terrorist activities in the country, the Shankaracharya felt the present education system was responsible for the menace.

"The present education system is only job-oriented and lacks the vision for development of the country on the basis of its cultural heritage. It destroys the traditional family system creating conditions for terrorism," he said during a visit here yesterday.

Shankaracharya said conspiracy by external forces to weaken the internal strength of the country was also one of the causes for the growth of Maoist problem which, according to him, has spread to 200 districts of the country.

His remarks came in the backdrop of the state government`s decision to free 27 persons, including eight Maoists, from jails in exchange for release of ruling BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka and Italian national Paolo Bosusco who are now in the custody of Maoists.