Bengaluru: In a controversial move, the Puttur Mahalingeshwara Temple in coastal Karnataka has banned non-Hindus from using a paddy field on its premises as the parking space. The temple authorities have put up a notice board, stating that action will be taken if non-Hindus park their vehicles in the area.
Justifying the act, Keshav Prasad Muliya, president of the temple, said since there is no boundary line as such to the field, many people park their vehicles. “The decision has been taken by the temple committee. The Muzrai Department has been given the authority to take care of the premises. If anyone comes with a request for parking, we will consider it. The decision is also to prevent any unwanted incidents on the temple premises,” he said.
Meanwhile, the move has been criticised by many. Senior Congress leader and former MLA Shakuntala Shetty said the decision of the temple committee was wrong. “People belonging to different faiths pray to Mahalingeshwara and visit the temple. This action was not required. The town does not have enough parking space, and people going to banks, markets and other places used to park their vehicles in the field”, she pointed out.
Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner Dr Rajendra KV told the media that he will look into the matter. The notice, put up by the temple authorities, states that the temple comes under the Muzrai Department and only the temple devotees would be allowed to park their vehicles on the field.
Ten days ago, Bajrang Dal, Hindu Jagarana Vedike and other pro-Hindu organisations had demanded that non-Hindus be banned from using the parking space.