Irked by Muslim traders closing down their shops in the coastal belt on March 17 protesting against the recent judgment of Karnataka High Court on Hijab issue, the managing committee of Hosa Marigudi Temple at Kaup in Udupi district did not allot shops/stalls to Muslims in an auction held on March 18 for the annual ‘Suggi Mari Pooje’ (which is an annual fair) to be held in the temple on March 22 and March 23.
According to Ramesh Hegde, president of the temple management committee, earlier a meeting of the committee passed a resolution to allow only Hindus to participate in the auction of shops/stalls.
Shops selling flowers, coconuts, hens and other items were auctioned only to Hindus, he said, adding that those who participated in the auction were also directed not to sub-let their shops to any Muslim traders in the temple premises to avoid law and order problem.
Mr. Hegde told presspersons that Hindu organisations had appealed to the temple committee not to allot the stalls/shops to Muslims as they did not respect the court’s verdict and the law of the land in the Hijab issue.
‘‘As over a lakh people would visit the festival on two days, there should not be any law and order problem. So a consensus decision was taken’’ he said.
Prakash Kukkehalli, Mangaluru divisional general secretary, Hindu Jagarana Vedike (HJV), said that earlier local members of HJV in Kaup submitted a letter to the chief officer of Kaup Town Municipality not to permit Muslims to open their shops/stalls during the annual fair. The HJV also approached the temple management committee to allow only Hindus to participate in the auction process.
“Even the local devotees of the temple were also upset that Muslims had closed down their shops on March 17 supporting the Karnataka bandh. The decision taken by the temple on Friday had the approval of all stakeholders,” he claimed.
Mr. Kukkehalli said that the temple authorities were told that if it allowed Muslims to participate in the auction, it might lead to law and order issues during the festival.
There are two more Marigudi Temples in Kaup – Hale temple (old) and Moorane temple (third one). The annual fair covered these two Marigudis too. But source said that the other two Marigudis, having separate management committees, do not auction the shops/stalls for the fair.
The Hosa Marigudi auctioned about 100 shops.
However, the Chief Officer of Kaup Town Municipality Venkatesh Navada said that he has received the letter, but as India is a secular country, traders from all communities can open the shops. ‘‘We are examining the issue,” he said.
It may be mentioned here that the annual fair at the three temples had not been held since past two years due to COVID-19 restrictions and the auction had also not been done. Earlier, Muslims too were getting stalls during the auction.