Demolition of Jain temples: second round of talks fail

A portion of the Jain temple that was razed by the district administration in Banahatti village of Bagalkot district.— Photo: By Special Arrangement  

Even the second round of discussion between the district administration and the authorities of Jain communities failed on Friday as Jain monks refused to end their fast, after the district administration demolished Jain temples on Halingali Bhadragiri Hill of the village.

The first meeting on Thursday was inconclusive.

On Wednesday, under tight security, the district administration demolished the Jain temples and other structures.

Following this, one of the chief monks, Kularatna Bhushan Maharaj, along with a few other monks sat on indefinite fast in protest. According to the district administration, the structures had come up illegally on a 58-acre plot of land owned by the government.

Officials of the Revenue Department said that despite serving several notices to temple authorities to remove the encroachment, they did not respond.

Historical significance

The Jains said that the area had historical significance as hundreds of relics dating back to centuries of their religion had been discovered at the hill. Over the years, the hill had become a major pilgrimage centre for Jains.

The monks said that they were only protecting the area and conducting only religious activities, not any commercial activities. Meanwhile, on Friday, the district administration brought back the idols from Bagalkot, however the Jain leaders agreed to accept the idols only on the condition that they should be installed on the place where they had been removed from.

The administration refused to accept the demand stating it was not possible to accord such permission as the entire area was government property.

With both sides refusing to budge, the meeting failed to break the logjam. Later, it was reported that the meeting would continue after the arrival of district in-charge Minister S.R. Patil and other local elected representatives.

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Printable version | Oct 24, 2021 1:01:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/demolition-of-jain-temples-second-round-of-talks-fail/article7950964.ece

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