Ch'nagar shuts down over burning of temple car

The dawn-to-dusk Chamarajanagar bandh call bandh call, given by various organisations, condemning the burning of the chariot of Sri Chamrajeshwaraswami Temple, evoked good response here on Monday.

Business transactions came to a halt in the city. Schools and colleges were declared a holiday. Petrol bunks, theatres and banks were closed, causing inconvenience to the people. However, there was no disruption in the KSRTC and private bus services.

The Doddangadi Beedhi, Chikkangadi Beedhi, B Rachaiah Double Road and Gundlupet Road, that are usually abuzz with activities, wore a deserted look on Monday, with traders voluntarily downing the shutters of their establishments.

Members of various organisations took out a protest march in the town and demanded stern punishment for the perpetrators.

They also submitted a memorandum to Deputy Commissioner B Ramu, seeking Rs 5 crore for the renovation of the temple, a new chariot by next Ashada month and banning public programme on the temple premises.

They urged the DC to step up security around the park near the temple and control illegal activities.
SP Kuldeep Kumar R Jain said, three special teams have been constituted to nab the culprits. The police have begun the probe and a few suspects have been subjected to questioning.

Meanwhile, District in-charge Minister U T Khader, who is on a pilgrimage to Mecca, has condemned the incident.

He has directed the deputy commissioner and SP to constitute a special team to probe the issue, and has appealed to the people to maintain peace.

No new chariot

DC B Ramu clarified that there was no major damage to the chariot and it is not possible to construct a new chariot within three months. He, however, said the damaged portion of the temple car would be repaired.

The temple is being renovated at a cost of Rs 2 crore and the miscreants have set fire to the chariot so that a new one would be built. Stern action will be taken against those, who have hurt the sentiments of the people. A proposal would be submitted to the state, seeking funds for the new chariot. If philanthropists come forward and donate liberally, a new chariot can be made before 2018 jatre, he said.

According to documents of the temple, the ‘Brahma Ratha’ is 179-year-old and is made of teak and honne wood. It may be mentioned that this was the second time attempts have been made to torch the chariot. Miscreants had made a vain bid in the year 2015, but only the coconut fronds, covering the chariot, was burnt.

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