Every other day a glaring incident from some corner of the country highlights the point of why it is necessary to reclaim and release temples from government control. In Tamil Nadu, a shocking incident of 11 Muslims encroaching temple land has come to the fore. Punnainallur Mariamman temple is a famous Devi temple in Thanjavur. The presiding deity here is considered to be the guardian deity of Thanjavur. The temple, even though under the control of HRCE, is managed by the Thanjavur Palace Devasthanam.
14, 390 square feet of land belonging to the temple in the South Muslim Street is occupied by 11 Muslims who have encroached the property for more than 40 years now and built houses on it. When the Devasthanam with the help of HRCE was in the process of retrieving properties lost to encroachment, it came upon this piece of land as well. HRCE sent notices to the encroachers asking them to evict the property as it belongs to the temple.
Tamilnadu HR&CE board lists the names of people who have illegally encroached upon the temple lands of Punnainallur Mariamman temple.
Check names.. pic.twitter.com/Iohj0aND3X
— பரமானந்த उपाध्याय (@iParamanand) February 17, 2021
However, despite notifying many times, Muslims encroaching the land didn’t pay any heed. So HRCE had to take the legal route to recover the property. Similar to other cases Muslims filed appeals and delayed the process. But the judgment came in favor of the temple allowing HRCE to remove the encroachers. As a part of this process, the temple management has put out a board announcing that all the encroachers must evict the property.
The picture of the board posted on social media has created an uproar as temple properties are not only mismanaged but brazenly encroached by people belonging to other faiths. The land jihad angle also comes into view as the squatters changed the street name despite it having temple property and appealed in the courts against the eviction notice given by HRCE.
Earlier Muslim shop keepers had encroached the property surrounding a Sangam era temple tank and kept appealing and filing review petitions in the courts defying HRCE’s notice. In the end, each and every such appeal was dismissed and the Madurai bench of Madras High Court ordered for the eviction and beautification of the temple tank.
(Featured Image Source: Twitter)
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