The takeover on Tuesday of the Sree Parthasarathy Temple at Guruvayur in Thrissur district by the Malabar Devaswom Board, one of the three major Government-controlled temple administration bodies of Kerala, has triggered stiff protests from Hindu religious outfits and devotees. The Hindu Aikya Vedi will observe a dawn-to-dusk shutdown in Thrissur district on Wednesday to protest against the takeover.
The Devaswom Board, which had been trying to take control of the temple’s administration for the past few years, completed the takeover procedures through its Executive Officer at about 4:00 AM Tuesday under tight security provided by scores of policemen in the context of the concern that Hindu outfits and devotees might block the effort.
The board officials had reached the premises of the temple in Guruvayur, a place known for the famous lord Krishna Temple, early Tuesday morning to ensure that protests did not hamper the effort. Hindu outfits and devotees alleged that the assistance required for the takeover was provided to the Devaswom authorities by local CPI(M) leaders.
“Certain top police officials themselves told us informally that there was pressure from the CPI(M). This makes it further clear that the takeover of the temple was in accordance with a CPI(M) agenda,” said an Aikya Vedi leader. He also said that several temple committees had already passed resolutions protesting against the takeover and calling for its cancellation.
Officials of the Devaswom Board had tried to take over the temple on September 21. However, they had failed in their attempt that day despite the presence of a huge posse of police personnel due to protests from the temple committee, Hindu outfits and devotees. The officials had arrived at the temple on Tuesday even before the devotees had started reaching there for worship.
While Devaswom Board officials claimed that the temple was taken over as per court orders, Aikya Vedi leaders termed the action as illegal as they said the High Court was to take up their petition seeking police security on Wednesday. “The board is misleading the people. They are quoting some non-existent court order,” said an Aikya Vedi leader.
KP Sasikala, State president of the Hindu Aikya Vedi, said that the takeover of the temple was proof of the anti-Hindu position of the CPI(M)-led lDF Government while sources in the outfit said protests would continue.