Why the manager was murdered
Every murder has two preconditions: there must be an opportunity and there must be a motive. In the case of Sankararaman, the expelled mutt employee who was hacked to death on September 3, the hired assailants had no problems finding an opportunity. The man was in an office in the Varadaraprumal temple where he now worked. He was unarmed. It would have been easy.
But the motive was another story. Initially, police suspected that a DMK contractor who had been denied a renewal on his lease of a coconut grove belonging to the temple could have done it. Some suspended temple employees suspected of stealing a gold chain. But as evidence came in, the motive became clearer.
HE HAD THREATENED THE SHANKARACHARYA WITH EXPOSURE: The manager had written to the pontiff several times saying that there were serious irregularities in the temple accounts. The last letter was in August. In it, he had asked the seer to either do something about the matter or be exposed.
HE WAS PROVING TO BE TOO MUCH OF AN IRRITANT: The manager had crossed the Shankaracharya's path several times. In 2000, when the Shankaracharya had planned a trip to China, Sankararaman filed a writ petition arguing that holy seers shouldn't cross the seas, so if the Shankaracharya wished to travel to China, he should take the land route. The trip was aborted.
A year later, the seer asked him to leave the mutt. He served the Varadaraperumal temple thereafter but kept on exposing alleged irregularities in the mutt through pamphlets under the name Somasekara Ganapadigal.
HE AND THE SEER HAVE A HISTORY
Sankararaman's father was one of four disciples of who walked all the way from Kanchi-to-Kashi with the Paramacharya-the man who anointed the present Shankaracharya. The loyalties of his family were always with the grand seer. In 1987, when the Shankaracharya left the mutt after a disagreement with the Paramacharya and then returned after 17 days, the manager began to distance himself from the Shankaracharya.