Move to capture temple administration alleged

KOZHIKODE OCT. 3. The Kerala Kshethra Samrakshana Samithy has warned it would organise devotees to resist moves being made by the Government "to capture control'' of administration of temples.

The samithy's State working committee, at a meeting here, has expressed strong resentment against what it saw as aggressive attempts by the State Government's Department of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment (HR & CE) to capture administrative control of temples by invoking the provisions of the defunct Madras Hindu Religious and Charitable Institutions Act.

The committee passed a resolution expressing deep apprehensions about such attempts and pointed out these were unjust, unnecessary and denial of natural justice since the proposed Malabar Dewaswom Bill was under the active consideration of the State Assembly.

Condemning the moves, the samithy passed another resolution pointing out that the Government had no such right when it was not even paying on time the annuity that it should be paying the temples. "These factors create room for suspicion that a move is being made to create a crisis in administration of temples,'' the general secretary of the samithy, N.M. Kadamban Namboodiripad, said.

The meeting appealed to the Government to revise the annuity being paid to temples and to ensure its prompt disbursement.

Strong protest was also voiced at the meeting against the Government failure to revise the wages and service conditions of temple employees in Malabar, in spite of a directive given by the Kerala High Court to do so.

There was also a strong demand that only existing temples be included in the purview of the proposed legislation. The Government was also urged to withdraw the 30 per cent excess fare charged by the KSRTC for Sabarimala pilgrimage.

The State convention of the samithy would be held in Kozhikode on December 7 and 8.

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