Hyderabad: The demolition of a 150-year-old wall by the GHMC at the Iskcon temple in Secunderabad led to a ‘die in protest’ movement by the devotees on Wednesday.
GHMC North Zone officials, in the presence of a large posse of police personnel, bulldozed a 100-feet stretch of an under-renovation wall of the temple stating that no permission had been sought to built it.
The temple officials said that it was merely a restoration and not a new construction and said that they had been ready to apply for permission when they had been asked. The temple officials alleged that a day earlier, a few GHMC officials had inspected the construction site and demanded a bribe but were turned down.
A little later on the same day, GHMC officials sent a notice to the temple officials asking them to stop the construction and apply for building permission.
On Wednesday, GHMC officials knocked down the wall before the temple officials could apply for permission for renovation. Dr Sahadeva Dasa, president of the Iskcon temple said,
“While repairing the 150-year-old boundary wall located in the north west, three GHMC officials visited the site on September 30 with some local gundas and physically manhandled our devotees when we refused to give them money. They trespassed and freely used vulgar language. This wall is being repaired to protect the temple from thefts and improve security as per numerous requests from the police. There have been several thefts, antisocial elements dumping beer bottles and condoms on our temple rath and other areas owing to the broken wall.”
The total donated land of the Iskcon temple is 4,900 sq. yards. While the temple was built in 1984, the vacant land has boundary walls as old as 150 years.
The wall demolished on Wednesday was of that era. It was in a dilapidated condition and this was the first time that it was being restored.