Employees of the Malabar Devaswom Board have said that they will resist the reported move by the Board to entrust the management of some important temples to their trustees, and take out a protest march and stage a dharna in front of the Board’s office here on Thursday.

Three major temples in Kannur and Kozhikode that were under the Board had been returned to trustees, A.K. Balan, general secretary of the Malabar Devaswom Employees Union, alleged on Tuesday.

The employees, led by the Centre of Indian Trade Unions, have been agitating for payment of full salary and release of grants for temples.

The union alleged that the functioning of the Board was at a standstill owing to factionalism within the Congress. The employees had been forced to launch an agitation as the Board’s president had not called them to discuss the demands listed in a joint memorandum submitted by various employees’ unions, including the one led by the pro-Congress Indian National Trade Union Congress, it said.

The demands raised by the unions include release of 70 per cent of the funds needed to pay salary as management grant for temples having an annual revenue of less than Rs.15 lakh, and steps for salary revision for all temple employees in view of the sharp rise in prices of essentials.

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