From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network
Bengaluru, Sep 20: Bowing to widespread protests from right wing outfits and former Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa threatening to move Supreme Court against the State Government’s decision to demolish the temple near Nanjangud in Mysuru district and all other unauthorised temples, mosques and churches in public places following apex court’s orders, the Basavaraj Bommai cabinet on Monday decided to enact a law for safeguarding places of worship in public places.
The State Cabinet, presided over by the Chief Minister on Monday, examined the issue and is understood have decided to bring a legislation in the current session of the State Legislature to protect all unauthorised religious structures of Hindus, Muslims and Christians across the State.
Temple demolished in Mysuru (file photo)
The Supreme Court on a writ petition had ordered way back in 2009 to demolish/relocate all unauthorised places of public worship in the State as there were more than a thousand such structures and successive governments had not acted upon the apex court’s direction.
With serious widespread protests from some of the ruling BJP leaders and other right-wing outfits against the Mysuru Deputy Commissioner’s decision to order demolition of a temple built in a public place near Nanjangud, the Chief Minister was forced to direct officials not to go ahead with demolition of temples in haste because of the Supreme Court’s orders.
Mysuru-Kodagu BJP MP Pratap Simha as well as Hindu Jagaran Vedike and other outfits owing allegiance to the ruling party were most vocal in criticising the demolition of the Nanjangud temple.
Apart from the Nanjangud case, administrations in many other districts were also going ahead with the removal of all religious structures in public places erected without official sanction as ultimately it is the district administrations that will be held liable to implement the apex court’s directions.
It is understood that some of the ministers reportedly urged the Chief Minister to ensure that appropriate directions were given to the Deputy Commissioners of districts not to demolish places of worship, especially temples and mosques as the move was likely to adversely affect the ruling BJP.
The State Cabinet is believed to have asked the lone woman minister in the Bommai cabinet, Shashikala Jolle, who heads the Muzrai, Haj and Wakf departments, to get her department to prepare an appropriate legislative bill and introduce it in the ongoing session of the State Legislature.
As the Nanajangud temple was demolished by the Mysuru district administration as per the directions of the Supreme Court, informed sources said the ruling BJP would fight the issue politically by building the temple so that any adverse actions could be handled to suit its political interests.
The State Cabinet also decided to notify dates for elections of Mayor and Deputy Mayors in the Municipal Corporations of Hubballi-Dharwad, Belagavi and Kalaburgi, which went to polls recently. The dates would be notified by the authorities concerned.