CHENNAI: Officials of the Chennai Corporation demolished a temple adjacent to the main entrance of the Madras High Court, as per a directive issued by the court. The demolition of the three decades’ old Sri Neethi Karumariamman temple, which was fondly called as MGR temple, began in the intervening night between Saturday and Sunday. The structure was razed completely around 3 am on Sunday, amid hues and cries from MGR supporters.
The temple on NSC Bose Road was built by Kantha Srinivasan, an ardent follower of MGR, who had installed his portrait and been worshipping the former chief minister and founder of the AIADMK party. Kantha, who was moved to tears when the temple was razed, told mediapersons that she would build another temple in memory of MGR.
One of the devotees of the temple reportedly attempted self-immolation, which was thwarted by the police personnel on duty. The incident halted the demolition work for a while. The situation remained tense for a couple of hours until the entire structure was brought down with police protection around 3 am, after which the protestors began to disperse.
The HC, which heard the petition pertaining to the obstruction caused by the temple on the footpath, passed orders last year to demolish it, holding that the construction was an encroachment.