PUDUCHERRY: Alleging that temple lands were being sold indiscriminately, the Bharathiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday demanded a white paper on the temple properties in the union territory and setting up of a committee under a retired judge comprising of IAS officials to protect the properties of Hindu temples here.
BJP secretary R V Swaminathan, in a statement, said, all the details of temple properties should be published in the HRI website and the list of properties of each temple should be displayed in the temple premises. He said land belonging to temples were being continuously sold with the connivance of politically powerful people. About 60 per cent of the temple properties were sold and illegally converted into the housing plots and alleged that the Hindu Religious Institutions (HRI) which is supposed to protect the properties is supporting such illegal activities.
People in the past donated their hard earned properties for temples in the region so that all pujas and rituals of the temples including Kumbabishegams could be performed without depending up on any one for funds, but now temples are facing difficulty in conducting such rituals in the UT. Alleging that the temple properties here were given on low lease and rent and without proper tenders, Swaminathan called up on the people to come forward to fight to safeguard the temple properties. Pointing out the theft of ornaments of the deities in different temples, he demanded the installation of CCTV and cameras in every temple.
He demanded that the Puducherry administration should give a statement detailing the total value of the temple properties so far sold out and the reason for the sale. The party demanded that the government should forthwith stop selling temple properties.