Tension continued to prevail in Ulsoor as the demolition of houses adjoining the kalyani (sacred water tank) of the Someshwara Temple by the Religious and Charitable Endowments (Muzrai) Department resumed here on Monday morning.
The department assigned the task of the kalyani's restoration on April 19 to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). The department commenced restoration work apparently after getting suggestions through “ashtamangala”. At 6:30 a.m., as demolition work began on houses, tiles in Ramchandran's bathroom, where his disabled son was, began to fall.
S. Kumar, another resident, said three houses were completely razed, and 14 were partly demolished. “We have not been given any notice or shown documentation authorising the demolition,” he said.
“We don't know why our houses are being demolished or by whom. If we have encroached upon temple land, we would like to be informed and given time. No one here is opposed to the kalyani, but what is happening seems unreasonable,” said Santosh, echoing the sentiments of many others.
Several residents who spoke to the media on Sunday claimed to have received threats both in person and over the phone thereafter. A retired defence personnel was allegedly beaten up by unknown persons who claimed to be from the temple.
Raghu, another resident, said they have submitted a petition to the Chief Justice of the High Court of Karnataka as the police have “refused to register their complaints”.
A Muzrai official said as the land in question belonged to the department, there was no need to serve any notice. “Since the kalyani is underneath the houses, we have to excavate. In fact, these houses have encroached upon Muzrai land,” he said.
He added that one of the demolished houses belonged to a temple trustee and it was done so only after getting his consent.
The Deputy Commissioner (Bangalore Urban) and other officials visited the spot on Monday morning and asked the residents to furnish documents in support of their owner claim.
Keywords: Public resentment