Authorities filed petition with the munsif court claiming ownership

A ‘mandagapadi’ — a stone-pillared ‘mandapam’ in Samayapuram has become a bone of contention among individuals and Sri Mariamman temple authorities, with both parties vying with each other for its take over.

A. Pitchai Muthiah, of Kanniyakudi near Kariyamanickam submitted a petition to the District Collector Jayashree Muralidharan on Monday seeking immediate clearing of the encroachment of a snack stall at the ‘mandapam’.

Staking claim for the ‘mandapam’ he said that it was used during the temple festivals held in Thai and Chithirai months.

The processional idol of Sri Mariamman is brought to the ‘mandapam’ on the fifth day of ‘Thai’ festival every year, he said adding that the encroachment in front of it prevented the rituals this year.

The ‘mandagapadi’ is located close to the Samayapuram bus stand.

K. Chandrasekar, who is running a snack stall at the mandapam, says that he has been running the business for quite a few years. He said that he had not encroached the site. “When I started the business it was on a small scale,” he said.

Meanwhile, temple authorities had filed a petition with the munsif court claiming ownership of the ‘mandagapadi’. Mr. Chandrasekar said that he would abide by court verdict.