Over 200 members of the Federation of Associations of Tamizhaga Hindu Religious Temples House Sites Lease Holders and Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam courted arrest near the Chennai District Collectorate on Thursday, demanding the State government levy fair rents. The police said they were later released. K. Loganathan, president of the federation, said the rents were revised in 2003 by the HR&CE department based on guideline value. “In most cases the lease holders have been in possession of the properties for over 80 years. We have constructed houses and have been living in them and paying rent. We cannot pay the revised rents with retrospective effect as it is too high,” he said. The members said, in many cases, the new rent was calculated based on inflated numbers. Farmers too, who had taken temple land on lease across the State, were being continuously harassed by the department’s officials, they said.

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