According to reports, IAS officer Rohini Sindhuri said that according to Section 58 of the Hindu Religious Act, 2002, there should not be any interference in the rituals and traditions of the temple.
Bengaluru: Amid tensions over not allowing non-Hindus from setting up stalls outside temple premises, Karnataka’s Chennakeshava temple in Belur in Hassan district kept alive its tradition and allowed a maulvi to recite verses from the Quran before the rathotsav or the chariot festival was kicked off on Thursday. The move of the temple came despite strong objections from pro-Hindutva groups.
Following objections, the temple authority wrote a letter to the Murzai department and asked if the tradition could be continued. According to reports, IAS officer Rohini Sindhuri said that according to Section 58 of the Hindu Religious Act, 2002, there should not be any interference in the rituals and traditions of the temple.
An official of the department said, “The tradition of a maulvi reciting verses from the Quran is not new. When there was a confusion over allowing non-Hindu vendors, especially those who are Muslims, from setting up stalls, we approached the priests of the temple and took their opinion and later, decided to allow the tradition to be practiced.”
In photographs shared on social media platforms, Maulvi Syed Sajjad Basha was seen chanting verses from the Quran before the chariot was pulled. Speaking to the media, the maulvi said, “Reciting verses from the Quran before the rathotsav has been a tradition for generations by my ancestors. This year too I recited verses from the Quran. Both Hindus and Muslims should live united with the blessings of God.”
Earlier, the executive officer of the temple, Vidyulatha, had issued a notice asking the non-Hindu traders to not set up stalls near the temple. Later, she said, as the Murzai department cleared the way, a separate notice was issued and non-Hindu traders were allowed to do business outside the temple.