They raise objections to arrangements made at the Hasanamba temple

Hundreds of devotees are unhappy with the arrangements made by the district administration at the Hasanamba temple here. They claim that they have to wait for seven to eight hours to get a glimpse of the deity even as a large number of ‘VIPs’ got special treatment.

The devotees alleged that many senior officials of the Revenue and Police departments, who were deputed at the temple, were allowing their relatives and acquaintances through the special entry, even though they didn’t have special passes which cost Rs. 250 each.

Open for limited time

The temple is open to devotees only during the month of Ashwayuja. As the temple is open for a limited time, thousands of people plan their trip to Hassan accordingly. The temple was opened on October 24 and will be closed on November 5. More than 35,000 people visited the temple on October 27 (Sunday).

The Muzrai Department has collected around Rs. 5 lakh by selling special passes. Some of the devotees criticised the administration for allowing many people through the special entry.

N.H. Kantaraju, devotee and secretary of the erstwhile Hasanamba Devasthana Jeernoddhara Samiti, said that devotees were facing a tough time as government staff deputed at the entry point were reusing the special passes to let people through. “As per the norms, the government representatives have to tear the special passes after allowing the devotee inside. But, instead they are using the same passes to allow others inside,” he alleged.

Benefit for journalists

The administration has issued free special passes, with which five people can enter the temple together, to many officers, mediapersons and people’s representatives.

In addition, journalists can take their families inside by showing their identity cards issued by the local Working Journalists’ Association.

“We have provided 75 special passes to mediapersons in Hassan,” said B. Sharath, Assistant Commissioner and administrator of the temple.

H. Nagaraj, a devotee from Chikmagalur, raised objections to the special provisions for officials and presspersons. “The district administration should treat all devotees equally. Nobody is superior in front of the goddess. Why should officials and journalists get special treatment when many senior citizens and women are standing in long queues?” he asked.

Deputy Commissioner V. Anbukkumar visited the temple on Sunday and pacified the devotees.

More In: Karnataka | National