District administration refuses to let him conduct the urs

The first day of the three-day urs at Guru Dattatreya Bababudan Swami Dargah atop Babudangiri Hills in Chikmagalur saw an argument between the Sajjada Nasheen, hereditary administrator of the shrine, and the district administration over conducting the religious programmes.

Following the argument on Monday, Sajjada Nasheen Syed Ghouse Mohiyuddin Shakhadri and several fakirs, who had gathered from different parts of the State, came away without entering the shrine. Mr. Shakhadri had earlier urged the district administration to allow him to conduct the urs, claiming he had the right to do so as per court orders. He wanted the administration to allow him inside the sanctum sanctorum of the shrine and permit him to place green cloth on the tombs in the shrines. The administration had refused, stating that only a mujawar (a priest) appointed by the Sajjada Nasheen was allowed inside.

The urs, an annual event, began with fakirs holding special prayers at Bada Makan in Chikmagalur town. As per custom, the Sajjada Nasheen and fakirs left for the hills after the prayers. Mr. Shakhadri reiterated his demand as they reached the dargah atop the hills. However, officials refused to budge.

Court orders cited

B.S. Shekhar, Chikmagalur Deputy Commissioner, told The Hindu: “We have conducted the procedures as per court orders. It will continue for the next two days also. Mr. Shakhadri wanted the administration to allow him to conduct the urs. But, as per the court orders, it was not possible. If we violate the orders, we have to face contempt of court,” he said.

R. Chetan, Superintendent of Police, and other officers visited the shrine.

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