Former chief minister and leader of opposition Siddaramaiah on 11 September criticised the state government over clearing of religious institutions, temples in particular, that are on government land. He said demolishing temples is against Hindu sentiments.
Siddaramaiah urged the government to initiate action against officials concerned for not acting with caution.
In a series of tweets, he stated that it is a ‘Dharma Sukshma’ issue. The officials and government should have taken a decision in consultation with locals or trustees of temples.
“Officials concerned have not followed due process. An alternate site should have been provided if the demolition was deemed necessary. The state government is responsible for this act which is against the sentiments of Hindus. An alternate place should be provided immediately to relocate the temples, ” he said.
“Karnataka BJP speaks as if they have taken a contract of protecting Hindutva, but they have failed to protect the sentiments of devotees,” Siddaramaiah said.
In Uchchagani village in Nanjanagud taluk, the local administration demolished the Mahadevamma temple following the Supreme Court direction. The villagers now have constructed a makeshift temple and have installed the idols. Local residents Sangamesh and Bhagya have announced that they will donate 5 gunta of land for the construction of the new temple.
Official sources claimed the temple was constructed on government land 15 years ago. “The demolition drive was carried out after serving multiple notices to the trustees and holding discussions with the villagers, who were given time to relocate the structure,” informed sources.
Meanwhile, BJP state spokesperson MG Mahesh and rural district unit president Mangala Somashekar opposed the district administration’s decision to raze down temples in the district. “Temples are the soft target of the district administration and officials are silent on removing the compound wall of a mosque on Irwin road and clearing structures of other religious institutions,” they said.