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HomeNewsTemple land worth Rs 120 crore returned to Hindu authorities in Tamil...

Temple land worth Rs 120 crore returned to Hindu authorities in Tamil Nadu

Ironically, the HR&CE Department of Tamil Nadu is infamous for riding roughshod over Hindus and their belief system centred around temples

In a paradoxical development, officials of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment (HR&CE) Department retrieved plots of temple land — usurped by encroachers — worth Rs 120 crore in District Salem of Tamil Nadu today, 10 February, and handed over parcels of the land to the temples concerned. The assistant commissioner of the department, K Raja, told reporters that the parcels of land retrieved belonged to 10 temples in Village Thesavilakku.

Ironically, the HR&CE Department of Tamil Nadu is infamous for riding roughshod over Hindus and their belief system. Last year in September, it conceded that it had constructed offices for its regional joint commissioners and assistant commissioners on lands belonging to various temples across the state and assured the Madras High Court that the amount appropriated for the construction would be reimbursed to the temples concerned from the government funds.

Filing a counter affidavit before a special Division Bench of Justices R Mahadevan and PD Audikesavalu, the department admitted last year the claim made by public interest litigant TR Ramesh that the offices of the JC and AC in Mayiladuthurai had been constructed on Sidharkadu Sambanthaswamy temple land. It said the monthly rent for the land was fixed at Rs 2,000 from 2013 to 2016 and at Rs 3,000 thereafter.

The rental arrears to the tune of Rs 2.82 lakh up to 28 February 2023 were paid to the temple from the government’s budgetary allocation.

The department had confessed it had drawn the building construction cost of Rs 98 lakh initially from five different temples, an additional amount of Rs 75 lakh from three different temples and Rs 20 lakh from one temple.

There were other government intrusions in the Hindu community, the details of which appeared in a Hindu report dated 2 September 2023.

The Madras High Court recently ordered officials to evict the encroachers. “Following the direction by the court, we have evicted the encroachers and retrieved land,” Official K Raja said today. He added, “A total of 119 acres of land belonging to Ulageswarar, Sendraya Perumal, Kattu Sendraya Perumal, Anai Muniappan, Thesavilakku Mariamman, Anai Vinayagar and Thuttampatty Mariamman temples had been encroached on by villagers and a few others.”

Since the DMK came to power in Tamil Nadu, several videos have surfaced on social media of undue arrest of Hindu and patriotic activists, influencers besides editors and reporters of start-up media houses.

The DMK government is accused also of facilitating conversions to other faiths.

That is over and above the much-reported attacks on Hindus and Hinduism by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, his son Udhayanidhi Stalin who compared the majority community with disease-bearing viruses, Minister A Raja calling Hinduism a “menace across the world” and the statement by DMK’s MP Senthilkumar in the parliament that north Indian states were “gaumutra states”.

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