Demolition of Nanjanagudu temple in Karnataka’s Mysuru kicks off row between BJP, Congress

Mysuru district officials claimed they merely followed the orders sent for demolishing illegal religious structures across the state.

Former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Saturday condemned the demolition of an ”ancient” Hindu temple at Nanjangud in Mysuru district and said the BJP government should have consulted the local residents before taking such an action, ”which has hurt the religious sentiments of the people”.

“The destruction of an ancient temple in Nanjangud is condemnable. Since it was a sensitive issue, the @BJP4Karnataka should have spoken to the local residents, The demolition is done without the consultation of the people in the region & has hurt the religious sentiments,” he said in a series of tweets. The officials concerned have not followed the due process, he said. “Though there was a court order, the administration should have given a thought before implementing it (order),” he said in another tweet.

The Congress leader demanded that a piece of land be earmarked to construct a temple there to compensate for the demolition.

Mysuru district officials claimed they merely followed the orders sent for demolishing illegal religious structures across the state, stating that the temple was not on Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) maps and was only 12 years old.

A letter by the State Chief Secretary P Ravi Kumar to Deputy Commissioners on July 1, 2021, stated that Karnataka has 6,395 unauthorised religious structures in public places.

As of September 29, 2009, the number of such structures was 5,688. In 12 years, the state was able to demolish, relocate and regulate only 2,887 of them.

The State Chief Secretary’s letter instructed district administrations and urban local body officials to prepare and execute a plan of action for demolition of at least one illegal religious structure per taluk and per division every week.

Dakshina Kannada district, with 1,579 illegal religious structures, has the highest number of unauthorised religious structures in public places, followed by Shivamogga (740), Belagavi (612), Kolar (397), Bagalkot (352), Dharwad (324), Mysuru (315) and Koppal (306), the letter stated.

BJP MP Pratap Simha also took to Twitter and said, “Was this temple troubling anybody?”

Responding to Pratap Simha’s tweet, All India Congress Committee spokesperson Lavanya Ballal said, “You need to answer this @mepratap , it’s BJP government in India. How did you allow this to happen? Are you asking @narendramodi or @BSBommai ? (sic)”

Source: India Today

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