Encroachment at Sundara Varadaraja Perumal temple in Virugambakkam
An impressive day long hunger protest was organised at Valluvar Kottam in Chennai on May 8 against the temple land grabbing. The protest was staged under the banner of Virugambakkam Mettukulam Retrieving Committee. More than 200 devotees joined the protest demanding release of temple land from the illegal possessors of the land grabbers.
Shri L Ganesan of BJP appealed to the State Government that when the AIADMK came to power, the Chief Minister took action against land grabbers. Why the Government of Tamil Nadu is now inactive in taking action against them? He condemned the threats made by anti-social elements to the Vibhag Sanghachalak of RSS Shri Durai Shankar who is deeply involved in the struggle. He said it is the responsibility of the Government to take care of him and the BJP, Hindu Munnani and no Sangh associated organisations would tolerate any threat against Shri Durai Shankar.
Shri VG Kumar presided over the protest along with Smt D Alamelu. Shri Ramagopalan of Hindu Munnani, Smt Thamizhisai Soundararajan of BJP, State BJP president Shri Pon Radhakrishnan, Vibhag Sanghachalak Shri Durai Shankar and city secretary of Hindu Munnani Shri Elangovan also joined the protest.
It is to be noted that Sundara Varadaraja Perumal temple at Virugambakkam is a 1,000 year old temple which was in a dilapidated state. The temple has huge property, which is now shrunk due to encroachments. According to temple records, the place was known in days of yore as ‘Seerani Virugambakkam in Puliyur Kottam of Thondai Naadu”. The area ‘Mettukulam’ is gifted by Sunguvar Chattiram Brahmins as water subsidy to the temple. Under the leadership of Shri Duraishankar, the temple was re-built. Then the temple was taken over by HR&CE Department. Suddenly, Muslims of the locality proposed to construct a mosque near the temple land with the support given by the then Congress MLA JM Haroon.
The Collector Office has displayed the notice calling for any objection to this proposal. Hindu Munnani objected for this proposal. All party protest was called for and the DRO interrogated the case. At the end, it is agreed that the land cannot be given to Muslims. Many persons started to claim the land showing illegal patta documents. Enquiry has been called for. The Office bearers of Hindu Munnani filed a PIL in High Court. Accordingly, status quo is maintained now and interim judgement has been given. Petition has been given to the Chief Minister for necessary action. Hindu Munnani, on verification found that in records (a register), the disputed land belongs to the temple which is recorded in 1910. Correspondence with the temple authorities over decades also reveal the fact that the land belongs to the temple only.