Thiruvananthapuram: Devaswom minister Kadakampally Surendran has said that the Malabar Devaswom Board took over the Parthasarathy temple in Guruvayur following a court order. “The attempt to portray it as a hostile act had no merit,” he said.
Some people were trying to communalise the takeover, but the general public and the believers need to know the facts related to the issue, he said.
The demand for transferring the temple to Malabar Devaswom Board had come up eight years ago when the governing committee comprising a section of local people faced allegations of serious irregularities and there developed serious differences between them. The court had directed the takeover of the temple by the board after a prolonged legal battle in the High Court and the Supreme Court.
He said the former office-bearers had not given the keys of the temple’s offering box and locker fearing that their irregularities would come to light. When the office-bearers went to court, they got a stay. However, within months, the court stay was vacated and the order of takeover was upheld.
The devaswom board officials who came to enforce the court order were blocked and there was tension. Later the order was implemented with police protection. The demand for the takeover was made by believers and temple employees.
The minister said BJP state president Kumanam Rajashekharan was alleging that the temple was being taken over to acquire its wealth. “The court order was to prevent the temple wealth from getting lost. Vested interests are hiding the fact that the government is spending crores of rupees for temples under devaswom boards for development activities and salaries for the staff,” he said.