Denying reports that Muslim traders were sent away from having their stalls at ongoing temple fair, Bappanadu Shri Durgaparameshwari Temple authorities said traders have themselves left the place.
Hereditary Trustee of the temple, Dugganna Sawant, told reporters that the temple, which is revered by people from all communities, have not made any distinction based on caste and communities.
“Nearly 50 Muslim traders had been permitted to have their stalls in the temple area. We never asked these traders to leave but they have left on their own due to fear of being harmed,” Mr. Dugganna said.
Denying any link with people who have installed hoarding asking non-Hindus not to have stalls in the temple fair, Mr. Dugganna said a group claiming themselves as Hindu Bandhus approached the temple with a request not to allot stalls to non-Hindus.
“We did not accept their plea. We do not have any links with people who installed that banner (which was later removed on Wednesday),” Mr. Dugganna said. It was unfortunate that such a controversy has arisen at the place known for communal harmony where Hindus, Muslims and Jains revere the deity.
Mr. Dugganna said the temple will look at the law concerned and come up with a measure by which people from all faiths will be involved in the fair.
N.S. Manohar Shetty, another temple trustee, said the temple cannot say anything on the banner that came up outside the temple. On the future of temple fair, Mr. Shetty said, “Unlike other temples, the deity here believes in communal harmony. She will ensure continuation of this legacy,” he said.