Mangaluru, Nov 25: In yet another attempt to deepen the communal divide in coastal Karnataka, the Hindu Jagaran Vedike has put up a banner at the entrance of Kukke Sri Subrahmanya Temple in Dakshina Kannada district barring non-Hindu traders from conducting business in the premises during the Champa Shashti festival.
Champa Shashti Mahotsava, which began with a Sheshavahana Bandi Utsava on Monday (November 21), will continue till December 5, and the Champa Shashti Maharatotsava will be held on Tuesday (November 29).
The banner reads: “Business activities by people from other religions are banned in this premises during the Kukke Subrahmanya Champa Shashti festival.”
Besides the banner, the HJV Kukke unit has also written to the temple management committee, asking it to take “necessary action” to stop non-Hindu traders from conducting business during the festival.
Hariprasad K, HJV member, in the letter to the temple management, said: “As per the Karnataka Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Act, people from other religions should not be allowed to conduct business during the festival. The sanctity of the temple should be protected, and law and order maintained. ”
Mohanram Sulli, president, temple management committee, said the management has been following the rule and non-Hindu traders are anyway not allowed to conduct business on the temple premises.
“We do not have an option under the law to allow people from other religions to conduct business within temple limits,” Sulli said. “As per the Karnataka Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Act, we can neither lease properties, nor execute a tender to persons from other religions. We have been following the rules.”
Asked to comment on the letter written by the HJV, Sulli said that the temple committee need not adopt any additional resolution, as the law itself is specific and sufficient.