Bengaluru : Amid all the din and commotion in the state following ban calls on Muslim traders by Hindutva groups, the ruling BJP government is all set to clear temple premises in Karnataka of Muslim vendors, according to sources.
Already, the state government has declared on the floor of the House that there is no provision for non-Hindus to carry out their business on temple premises and religious fairs.
The government plans to implement the rule through the Muzrai department which manages more than 30,000 temples in the state. The department has given clear instructions on not allowing Muslim vendors from participating in the auction of shops on the premises of temples, said Muzarai department sources.
The move will be backed by the law made during the Congress government when S.M. Krishna was the Chief Minister. To ensure that the shops which are taken in auction are not given on sub-lease to Muslims, the department has prepared clear cut rules that those who get the shops in auction only will have to run them, the sources stated.
Further, the department had given directions to suspend the lease agreement in case of finding out that the shop has been given to Muslim vendor on sub-lease. It has also been decided to suspend the executive officer if any violation of guidelines is found.
Muzrai department is all set to issue notices in this regard to 48 shops which are going for auction in different temples in Bengaluru, including famous Kadu Malleshwara Temple and Kashi Vishwanath Temple.
According to the Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Act 2002, there is no provision for non-Hindus to carry out their business on temple premises. The guideline also says that the person who takes shops in auction should not do anything which hurts the sentiments of devotees.
Though the guidelines have been in existence since 2002, they are being implemented in the present scenario by the ruling BJP government in Karnataka, which has stirred a controversy. Opposition Congress is claiming that it is being done keeping polarisation of Hindu votes for upcoming Assembly elections in 2023.
The ban trend came to the fore following the protest by Muslim businessmen and vendors against the High Court verdict on wearing of hijab. The High Court had dismissed the petition seeking permission to wear hijab in classrooms and stated that wearing of hijab is not an essential practice in Islam. Following the protest, Hindu organisations came up with slew of ban calls on Muslim businessmen which has led to the unrest in the state. The recent government’s decision to ensure the exit of Muslims from all temples that come under Muzrai department is likely to further create a stir in the state, say the sources.—IANS