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A shrine sprouts up in a nursery

Staff Reporter
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Anything goes: Passersby look on as a puja gets under way in the BDA nursery in Koramangala Ist Block in Bangalore.
Anything goes: Passersby look on as a puja gets under way in the BDA nursery in Koramangala Ist Block in Bangalore.

The residents of Koramangala 1st Block were surprised when they saw a puja being performed and ‘prasad' being distributed at the BDA nursery a couple of months ago.

Over the next few weeks, a platform was constructed in front of the three Naga idols (Nagara Kallu) to perform homas. Pujas are now being held twice a week. Soon, an iron scaffolding to arrange garlands was erected.

S. Murlidhar, president of the residents' welfare association, claimed that the participants of the puja are all non-residents.

“The priests who do the puja litter the nursery. Though the public is prohibited from entering the nursery, somehow the pujas are being conducted regularly,” he said.

‘Never before'

He added that residents, who have been living in the area for the past two decades, said pujas were never performed in the nursery before this.

“There is a huge sign outside the nursery, which is BDA property, prohibiting public entry,” he said. The residents have already written to BDA Commissioner Bharat Lal Meena. “We are apprehensive that a permanent temple will come up inside the nursery. There is a Supreme Court ruling against shrines in public spaces and the authorities must act now to prevent it from becoming a permanent structure,” he added. Mr. Muralidhar said that the residents have met with local councillor Kokila and MLA Ramalinga Reddy. “We will also be writing to the police to pre-empt any law and order problem in the area,” he said.

He also said that recently, the caretakers of the nursery covered the idols and demolished the platform. “However, we are apprehensive. We do not want the pujas to resume,” he added.

Meanwhile, the BDA officials were unavailable for comment.

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