Traditional temple

Karnataka: Belur Temple Fair from today, non-Hindus get nod to set up stalls | Bangalore News

HASSAN: Two weeks after a Muslim trader was asked to leave his store at the Chennakeshava temple complex in the Belur of Hassan district, the taluk administration gave the go-ahead for 15 non-Hindus to set up stalls during the annual two-day temple car festival beginning on Wednesday.
Sujay Kumar, chief executive of Belur taluk city council, said there were no rules or laws to prevent non-Hindu vendors from doing business during temple fairs.
The taluk administration has identified a huge plot of land about 100 meters from the temple where makeshift stalls have been set up for the temple festival. Vendors will be allowed to operate their stalls on this land until April 18. Some 60 stalls have been set up on this plot, and 15 of them are owned by non-Hindu vendors.
The officer said they held tenders through the e-procurement channel almost a month ago. “Anyone can set up a booth by paying the prescribed fee,” he added.
The executive director of the Belur temple, Vidyulatha, told TOI: “The office of the muzrai commissioner has ordered that no officer, person or organization shall be allowed to interfere in any tradition, ritual or custom under the Section 58 of the Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Foundations Act 2002. Therefore, the chanting of Quran verses will be conducted as mentioned in the Belur temple handbook before pulling the chariot on Brahma Rathotsava day. ”
The 12th-century Chennakeshava temple, which is administered by the Karnataka muzrai department and set to be recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, sparked controversy when it issued an eviction notice on March 28 to a only non-Hindu vendor who has been running a shop on the shrine’s premises for decades.
The temple complex has 17 commercial shops. The notice was served on the Muslim seller who has been selling children’s toys for over 50 years. The store has since closed. Regarding the eviction notice, Vidyulatha said that she has not yet received any instructions from the commissioner.
Sources said the Muslim vendor was not involved in the bidding process for setting up a stall in a makeshift area.
Former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy said he asked former Minister HD Revanna to resolve the issue amicably and said he would not allow any attempt to disturb communal harmony in his district of ‘origin.