Guwahati, Monday, May 31, 2010
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Ravi Shankar unafraid, says he forgives attacker

 BANGALORE, May 31 (IANS) - Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, who was fired at but escaped unhurt, said today that there were people who wanted to attack him but he was not afraid and would continue to spread the message of anti-terrorism and peace.

An unidentified gunman opened fire at Ravi Shankar's convoy here late Sunday. An Indian devotee suffered a minor injury but is fine, the spiritual leader said.

"My driver had a vision and told me that I may be attacked," the guru, who has millions of followers in India and abroad, told reporters at his ashram on Kanakapura Road on Bangalore's outskirts.

He said he had forgiven the attacker. "I want him to come here and experience peace and see what we are doing."

Ravi Shankar said he did not want heightened security at his complex to come between him and the people. He said a large number of people come from villages to meet him. Security should not deter them, he added.

The spiritual leader was particularly concerned about the safety of his foreign devotees. "Police should ensure their safety," he said.

Ravi Shankar said: "I was about to sit in the car when the incident happened. Those spreading terror might have attacked me. I will continue to spread anti-terrorism messages."

Police have stepped up security in and around the sprawling complex. Inspector General of Police, Kamal Pant, who visited the spot Sunday evening and today said: "We are searching the premises. Teams have been formed (to probe)."

Charu, a devotee of the guru, told IANS late Sunday that the bullet had been recovered and handed over to the police.

Asked about this, Pant said "We have certain details but they cannot be made public as investigation is on."

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