COIMBATORE: A private engineering college on the outskirts of the city has run into a controversy with a Hindu outfit claiming it has encroached upon more than nine acres of temple land. The college was promoted by Vijayalakshmi Palanisamy Charitable Trust founded by former DMK minister Pongalur N Palanisamy.
Thiruthondar Sabai founder president A Radhakrishnan has accused the management of the Kalaignar Karunanidhi Institute of Technology at Kannampalayam of encroaching upon a total of nine acres and 36 cents of land belonging to two temples in Tiruvannamalai and Chidambaram. Both temples are under the control of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) Department.
“Karuppakavundar had donated nine acres and 36 cents to the Arunachaleswarar temple in Tiruvannamalai and Natarajar temple in Chidambaram in 1898. He had mentioned in his will that the land should not be sold to anybody under any circumstances,” Radhakrishnan said.
Claiming that the college management had forged documents to encroach upon the land, Radhakrishnan said, “The management forged documents to show that Karuppakavundar’s heir had sold the land to a person in 2004. Further, they claimed that the land was bought by them in 2007 from that person.” Blaming the HR&CE officials for allowing encroachment of the temple land, he said that his outfit was planning legal recourse to recover the land.
Denying the allegations, Pongalur N Palanisamy said, “The allegations are baseless. We bought the land from its owner after verifying all legalities. The land was bought by the Trust.”
“The original will states that the revenue from the land should be used for the temple. The heir moved the court and got order permitting its sale, as it had become infertile. The court mandated that the sale money be deposited in a bank and its interest be utilised for the temple, which the heir is following,” he further said.
In a later development, Kannampalayam town panchayat DMK councillor Shanmugam staged a road blockade demanding that Radhakrishnan not be allowed to enter the college premises. He was later removed by police from the protest spot.