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Temple desecrated, tension in Kodagu

Temple desecrated, tension in Kodagu

Author: Our Staff Correspondent
Publication: The Hindu
Date: December 10, 2001

Tension prevailed in Kodagu District on Sunday evening after the desecration of Sri Satya Harishchandra Temple at Palur, about 20 km. from here,by some miscreants. Hundreds of people gathered at Napoklu, Kottamudi, Bettageri, and Madikeri, to protest against the vandalism.

In Madikeri, an angry mob burnt tyres and blocked roads from 6 p.m. to vent its ire over the desecration of the temple. Senior police officials, including the Superintendent of Police, have rushed to the spot.

Sri Satya Harishchandra Temple is one of the eight temples in Kodagu coming under the State Muzrai Department. According to sources, four persons have been taken into custody by the police and cases have been registered against eight persons.

The priest of the temple, Mr. Arun, said he noticed the desecration act on Saturday afternoon. He immediately informed the matter to the ``Parupatyagar'' of the main temple - Mahalingeshwara Temple - nearby. The Harishchandra Temple is somewhat in the interior of Palur. The villagers said that the miscreants could have done this act to avenge the demolition of Babri Masjid at Ayodhya on December 6, 1992. The lamp post at the Ashwatha Katte at the temple has been brought down.

The miscreants have destroyed the tiles and the building in the front (Pouli) portion, leading to the sanctum sanctorum. The doors of the sanctum sanctorum have been destroyed and the Shiva Linga smeared with cow dung. Efforts to remove the Linga had apparently failed. The Kodagu District BJP President, Mr. K.G.Bopaiah, and the leaders of the VHP, Bajrang Dal, and hundreds of villagers have started gathering at Napoklu, which is the town nearest to Palur.

The news of the desecration of the temple has spread throughout the district. Police have requisitioned additional reinforcements. An officer in-charge of the security at Madikeri said two platoons of KSRP had come in and they had been posted at Napoklu and Kottamudi. Road traffic has come to a halt as road blocks have been put up at several places here, which has caused hardship to people going to Mysore and Bangalore. A large number of people gathered at the General Thimmaiah Circle in Madikeri.

Meanwhile, tension prevailed at Sunticoppa in Somwarpet taluk on Sunday, following attacks on members of a particular community. Road traffic was disrupted for over three hours in the evening. Police have rushed to the spot, and the situation is reported to be under control. However, this incident is not connected to the temple desecration.

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