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Ayodhya Mandapam administration taken over  following court order, Minister

- April 12, 2022

Chennai, April 12 (BPNS)

Tamil Nadu minister for Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE), P.K. Sekar Babu has said that the HR&CE department has taken over the administration of the Ayodhya Mandapam at West Mambalam following a court order.

The minister was responding to a question raised by the BJP member, Vanathi Srinivasan. Speaking at the legislative assembly on Tuesday, the minister said that a judgment was being awaited in the case and that action would be taken as per the ruling of the court in consultation with the Chief Minister.

He said that the Madras High Court had dismissed a plea against the taking over of the Ayodhya Mandapam by the HR&CE department. The minister said that a few people managing the Sri Ram Samaj which was maintaining the Ayodhya Mandapam were exploiting the devotees.

It is to be noted that a division bench of the Madras High Court had refused to stay the order of a single bench quashing the plea by the Sri Ram Samaj against taking over of the Ayodhya Mandapam by the HR&CE department. The court had adjourned the case to April 22nd and devotees led by the local BJP councilor Uma Anandan had objected to the taking over the Ayodhya Mandapam on April 11 by the HR&CE department. The HR&CE department had taken over the administration following the division bench refusing to stay the March 30, 2022 judgment of the single bench of the court.

While the HR&CE contents that it was a temple, the Sri Ram Samaj in its affidavit said that it was a place for religious discourse and was formed in 1954 on Sri Ram Navami day. The samaj also contended that there were pictures of Sri Ram, Sita Devi, Radha Devi and Hanumanji and that there were no idols at the Ayodhya Mandapam.  HR&CE had in its plea informed the court that regular poojas were conducted at the Ayodhya Mandapam and that there was hundi placed for collecting public offerings and hence is fit to be managed by the department.

P.K. Sekar Babu said that certain elements were trying to create an impression that the DMK government was against some communities and incite law and order issues. He said that the Chief Minister would not hesitate to control such issues with an iron fist.

He said that inspections have revealed that Sri Ram Samaj’s actions were against Section (6) of the HR&CE Act,1959.

Meanwhile intervening in the debate the Chief Minister, M.K. Stalin called upon the BJP members to work for the downtrodden and called upon Vanathi Srinivasan to take up the issue of rising petrol and diesel prices, and the shooting up of cooking gas prices.

Stalin also requested the BJP members to take up the issue of Tamil Nadu with the Union government and to get funds due to the state. He also advised Vanathi and other BJP members to understand the demands of the people and act accordingly.

Chief Minister also said that the state government would not allow the Ayodhya Mandapam issue to be politicized.