Tension prevailed at Pattanayakanahalli village in Sira taluk as two groups clashed over the burial of a person at the Gurudunda Bhrameshwara Swami Mutt on Monday.
Assistant Commissioner Anitha clamped prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC as a precautionary measure. One Jayamma (80) of the village hailing from Kuruba community passed away.
Her relatives wished that she be buried beside her husband Somanna’s tomb.
Many of their relatives tombs too were at the disputed place on the premises of the mutt, said Panduranga, a relative. But the head of the Mutt Nanjavadhuta Swami refused to give permission as the issue was in the court.
However, the relatives claimed that it was their ancestral property which was gifted to the mutt in the 18th century. But the Swamiji, who hails from the Vokkaliga community, claimed that it was the mutt’s property as per documents dating back to the 16th century.
“Since the matter is in the court, it’s a disputed land, and hence I refused permission for the burial,” he clarified.
But the relatives were not convinced and they staged a protest till late in the evening.
The Assistant Commissioner told Express that a peace meeting will be held to convince them to bury the body at another place.
The situation was brought under control and the security was beefed up, she said. The dispute between the mutt and the locally dominant Kurubas has prevailed for almost a decade, as the Swami had refused to allow the burial of a close relative of the donor of that particular land four years ago.