Districts told to put on hold demolition of temples: Minister Ashok

Revenue Minister R Ashoka
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Revenue Minister R Ashoka

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Revenue Minister R Ashok on Tuesday said that the district administrations have been instructed to halt demolition of temples built in public places.

Bengaluru: Revenue Minister R Ashok on Tuesday said that the district administrations have been instructed to halt demolition of temples built in public places. The Supreme Court has directed the State government to remove all religious structures built unauthorizedly in public places.

Speaking to media persons, Ashok said, "The government will take an appropriate decision keeping in view both the Supreme Court order and the sentiments of the people. Until then, the district authorities have been instructed not to clear any temples and religious buildings."

Responding to the SC ruling made in 2009, the Mysore district has issued eviction notices to more than 90 temples. "There is no need to rush into honouring the apex court order as there is a need to respect the sentiments of the people," said the minister.

"The government will soon discuss all the aspects of the Supreme Court's ruling and consider the sentiments of people before deciding on the vacating the temples," Ashok said.

When asked if action will be taken against the tahsildar who demolished a temple at Hunasur in Mysore district, the minister said, "The matter will be discussed with the district authorities and they will be asked to submit a report."

The demolition of temples has drawn the ire of Hindu organizations in Mysore. As per the Supreme Court ruling, Mysore district administration has issued notices for eviction of more than 90 temples.

In the wake the developments, Ashok called up Mysore district officials and said no action should be taken until a clear decision was made at the government level. The temples identified as unauthorised are: Bengaluru Urban (77), Belgaum (148), Bellary (33), Mandya (13), Bidar (138), Bijapur (141), Chamarajanagar (18), Chikkaballapur (180), Chikmagalur (3), Chitradurga (66), Dakshina Kannada (833), Davanagere (15), Koppal (17), Darwada (221), Gadag (16), Gulbarga (136), Haveri (33), Kodagu (2), Ramanagara (3), Raichur (59). A total of 1269 temples, churches, gurudwars and mosques have been identified for demolition.

The Home department is learnt to be pushing district administrations to clear the places of religious worship.

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