Tension was witnessed at Dhulapi-Corlim as one group stalled the attempts of another group to install a new idol of Goddess Sateri at Sateri temple, on Sunday.
Apparently, the installation ceremony of the new statue in the renovated temple was scheduled to be held on Monday wherein CM Pramod Sawant, Art and Culture minister Govind Gaude and Cumbarjua MLA Rajesh Faldessai were expected to participate.
However, as the new idol was being brought into the village on a vehicle, the opposing group stopped the vehicle midway and did not allow it to go ahead with the ladies of that group then squatting in front of the vehicle.
Deputy Collector Rajesh Azgaonkar, Tiswadi Jt Mamlatdar Archana Chodankar, SDPO Sudesh Naik, Old Goa PI Satish Padwalkar and police personnel then arrived at the site to maintain law and order.
The two groups stood face to face till late afternoon. However, later the first group dispersed from the site leaving behind the idol in the vehicle.
But, the opposing group stayed put with a vow that they won’t allow the vehicle to go ahead.
Incidentally, the two groups are involved in a legal tussle over the alleged illegal re-construction of the temple with the opposing group having got a stay from the High Court.
“Our women have decided to keep vigil through the night to ensure that the idol is not taken to the temple,” a member of the opposing group and Corlim panch Goraknath Kerkar informed.
“We were not taken into confidence when the temple was demolished and rebuilt. Neither we were taken into confidence over the installation of a new idol,” Kerkar informed while adding that there is no need to install a new idol as the existing one is in good condition.
Kerkar further expressed unhappiness that the current temple committee comprises only members of one group.
“Our group, which consists of two communities, have been left out and we are demanding equal representation in the committee,” he added.
However, the current temple president Bhiku Dhulapkar said that the decision to install a new idol was taken after seeking religious advice.
On not taking the other group into confidence, Dhulapkar said that it can happen only when they attend the temple committee meetings.
“When they do not attend the meeting, we are not to be faulted,” he said while further adding that never before were the committee members appointed based on communities.
“Earlier we used to nominate members and during the election of the current committee, the same process was followed in the presence of the talathi,” Dhulapkar pointed out.
Meanwhile, as the two warring groups put their foot down, the fate of the new idol remains uncertain as one group has decided that they won’t allow the idol to be moved ahead while the other group has decided that they won’t move it back.
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