CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu Waqf Board has claimed ownership of the 1500-year-old Manendiyavalli Chandrashekhara Swami temple land. The temple has 369 acres of property in and around Tiruchenthurai village in Tiruchi district of Tamil Nadu.
The Waqf board's claim came to the fore after a local farmer tried to sell his agricultural land.
When Rajagopal tried to sell his 1.2 acres of land at Tiruchenthurai village to another person, he was told by the registrar's office that the land does not belong to him but to the Tamil Nadu Waqf board.
Rajagopal told media persons that the registrar told him that the land does not belong to him but to the Tamil Nadu Waqf Board and that he should get a no-objection certificate from the Waqf board office in Chennai.
The farmer told the registrar that he had purchased the land in 1992 and asked him why he needs the no-objection certificate from the Waqf board.
The registrar, according to Rajagopal, told him that the Tamil Nadu Waqf board has sent a 250-page letter to the Deeds Department stating that any land transaction in Tiruchendurai village must be done only with a no-objection certificate from it.
The Tamil Nadu Waqf board also stated that the entire land property in the village belonged to it. The local people were shocked when they came to know about the directive from the Waqf board and almost everyone in the village has the land in his/ her name.
BJP Tiruchi district secretary, Alur Prakash while speaking to IANS said, "The entire village is a Hindu-dominated area. How can Waqf board own this property."
He further said, "The Chandrashekhara Swamy temple in the village has 389 acres of land and is a 1500-year-old temple. Is this land also Waqf property."
Meanwhile, the Tiruchi district collector told Rajagopal and others who had apprised him of the issue that the matter would be investigated and further action would be taken in the days to come.
True to his words the District collector of Tiruchi held a meeting with Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment (HR&CE) representatives, Waqf board representatives, police, and revenue officials at Srirangam and decided that the title deeds at Tiruchendurai village can be carried out as usual.
Tamil Nadu Inspector General of Registration has taken up the matter for further investigation and detailed inquiry is on into the claims made by the Waqf board.