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Don’t let non-Hindus into Palani temple: HC

Judge directs officials to install boards indicating ban

Don’t let non-Hindus into Palani temple: HC

Madurai bench of Madras High Court

MADURAI: The Madurai bench of Madras High Court on Tuesday directed the HR&CE Department to prevent entry of non-Hindus, who do not believe in the religion at Palani Dhandayuthapani Swamy Devasthanam in Dindigul district.

Judge S Srimathy in her order directed the respondents, including the HR&CE and Tourism departments to install boards indicating, “non-Hindus are not allowed inside the temple after the kodimaram.” If any non-Hindu claims to visit a particular deity in the temple, then the respondents should obtain undertaking from the said non-Hindu that he or she had faith in the deity and would follow the customs and practices of Hindu religion and abide by the temple customs. They can be allowed to enter on such undertaking.

Whenever a non-Hindu is allowed based on the undertaking, it should be entered in the register maintained by the temple. The respondents should also maintain the temple premises by strictly following the agamas, customs and practices of the temple, the Judge ordered.

The orders were issued based on a petition by D Senthilkumar from Adivaram, Palani and an organiser of Pazhani Hill Temple Devotee Organisation, who stated that some non-Hindus purchased tickets at the winch station in Palani to reach the temple at the hilltop.

Sahul, who runs a fruit shop near Palani bus stand, took his burka-clad relatives to buy winch tickets. The ticket issuing authority told them that non-Hindus are not allowed and retrieved the tickets.

Sahul then argued with the employees present in the winch station saying, “This is a tourist place. Why would we visit it if you put up banners? Should I get some banners for you using my money?”

As Hindu outfits got wind of the incident, they gathered in the winch station and argued in support of the temple employees. Moreover, they condemned the Executive Officer of the temple for failing to put up banners, which were removed earlier during renovation work for the consecration, mentioning that non-Hindus were not allowed.

Many devotees observe fast and come to Palani for darshan. Further Palani hill temple is not a picnic spot. Citing this, the petitioner sought interim direction, directing the Executive Officer to affix the display board as “non-Hindus are not allowed in the temple premises” in all languages at all entrances.

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