In an early morning operation, officials of the Department of Religious and Charitable Endowments (Muzrai) partially demolished a private house and a community hall built on the Karanji Anjaneya temple’s property in Basavanagudi in Bangalore.

Television artiste Vikram Suri told The Hindu he and his family have been living in the two-bedroom house on the temple property for more than 30 years. He was away at a shoot when he got to know of the demolition. “For several years, we have also been conducting some cultural programmes here. The land was under litigation and around six months ago, the Karnataka High Court ruled that it belonged to the temple.” His lawyer, who reached the spot, sought the demolition order but was shown a court order stating it was the temple’s land. “There was no mention of demolition anywhere.”

Mr. Suri said following the court order, his family had submitted an application to the Muzrai Department seeking permission to continue living in the house either on rent or lease basis. “There was no response. So, we sent in another application last week. We will be meeting senior officials of the department soon.”

Endowment Commissioner B.G. Nandakumar said the family had encroached on the property and was told by the court to leave around six months ago.

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