Protestors said the board took over the temple without any consultation with stakeholders and said they will move the court
Amid protest by a section of devotees, the Malabar Devaswom Board on Thursday took over the control of the Mattannur Mahadeva temple in Kannur district in north Kerala, HT has learnt.
Sensing the takeover, the temple administration board locked the main gate and office but Devaswom board officials allegedly took the help of police to break open the gate. Some of the devotees poured petrol on their bodies and threatened self-immolation but police foiled their attempts. For the last decade, the Board has been trying to take over the temple but devotees and temple trust foiled their attempts.
Protestors said the board took over the temple without any consultation with stakeholders and said they will move the court. But the Board said it has permission from the High Court. The Viswa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Hindu Aikya Vedi have protested the takeover and said they will organise a week-long protest outside the temple. The president of the temple committee, CH Mohandas, said the case was pending in the Supreme Court. “The takeover was quite arbitrary and we will inform the apex court about this,” he said.
In Kerala, all Hindu shrines come under different boards controlled by the government. Travancore, Cochin, Guruvayur and Malabar Devaswom boards are prominent among them and usually, ruling party members become chairmen of these boards. Many Hindu outfits have been opposing the government control over temples saying all mosques and churches are being controlled by devotees and their elected bodies. BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s petition questioning the government control over Hindu shrines is pending before the Supreme Court.