KOPPAL : The famous hill shrine of Anjanadri Hills in Koppal district, the birthplace of Lord Hanuman, has become the latest spot of friction as Hindu activists have demanded that non-Hindu traders be banned from conducting business here. The administration is yet to take a decision, but pro-Hindu organisations have submitted several memorandums.
Posters asking temple authorities to ban non-Hindu traders have come up near Anjanadri shrine and this is the second consecutive year that these organisations are demanding that only Hindu families put up stalls at the shrine. They have pointed out a clause in the Karnataka Endowment Act that bans non-Hindu traders from doing business on temple premises. “We are demanding what is in the law books. Recent arrests and investigations have proved that Hindu temples have been under the radar of anti-national elements. It is even more important that non-Hindu traders be banned from doing business at all Hindu shrines in the state. We are demanding it at Anjandari too,” said Shrikanth, a leader from Hindu Jagran Vedike in Gangavathi.
“A large number of devotees, who wear Hanuman Mala annually, are expected to visit the shrine over the next few weeks. A huge amount of flowers are sold at the shrine and most of the traders are non-Hindus. If a ban is imposed on non-Hindu traders, the price of flowers and garlands may increase,” said a non-Hindu trader from Anjanadri.
Some local non-Hindu vendors are said to have decided to down the shutters till the protest dies down. Some Muslim traders are now planning to put up their stalls away from the shrine. “Similar efforts were made last year, but they did not work. It’s not possible to divide business around any temple based on religion. There are many traders from non-Hindu communities here,” said a social activist from Koppal.