Cochin Dewaswom Board asks for Hindu policemen to be deployed at temple fest

Police association protests that religion should not be criterion for deployment

Kochi: A controversy erupted Saturday over a Cochin Devaswom Board letter to the police commissioner of Kochi, seeking to deploy Hindu policemen to manage crowds and vehicles for a temple festival here.

Authorities of the Shiva-Subrahmanya Swamy temple, managed by the board, later withdrew the letter following opposition from the Police Association, which said policemen should not be deployed for festival duties on the basis of their religion.

The assistant commissioner of the board sent the letter on January 21, seeking Hindu policemen for the February 8 'Thaipooyam' festival at the temple.

The Ernakulam District Police Association urged the police commissioner not to accede to the application. The state committee submitted a memorandum to devaswom minister Kadakampally Surendran, saying the religion of policemen should not be the criterion for deploying them for festival duties.

Following the protest, the temple authorities withdrew the controversial letter and submitted a fresh one.

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