After lull, Chamundeshwari temple sees more devotees

After lull, Chamundeshwari temple sees more devotees

Chamundeshwari Temple atop the Chamundi Hill. DH file photo

Chamundeshwari Temple atop the Chamundi Hill witnessed a flurry of devotees on Monday. The crowd was a little more as the puja and other rituals were not being conducted for two days because the temple employees were on protest on December 14 and 15.

The employees of 24 temples, including the temples inside Mysuru Palace, had launched an indefinite protest on Thursday demanding that the government increase their salary. However, the protest was called off on Saturday evening.

Due to the protest, the rituals were suspended for two days and a large number of devotees had to return without performing puja. As the priests were also on protest, no puja, archane, mangalarathi were performed.

However, the employees called off the protest after senior officials convinced them and promised to organise a meeting with the ministers concerned.

Meanwhile, the employees, including priests of Srikanteshwara temple in Nanjangud, staged a protest demanding a hike in salary, regularisation of contract employees, etc, on Monday.

The employees gathered in front of the temple. The priests also joined them at 9 am. The devotees faced the heat as all the rituals were suspended. Employees Union president Srikanta said, the temple comes under ‘A’ Grade and the state gets crores of rupees as revenue. As per the norms, the government can pay salaries to the employees up to 35% of the temple’s income. But, now, the government is paying salary of only 17% of the temple’s income, he said. He demanded that the government hike a minimum of 30% hike in salary, medical benefits, revision of salary of contract employees. He said that they will intensify the protest after December 31 if the government fails to fulfill their demands.

The employees withdrew the protest as Muzarai Tahsildar Yatiraj told them that the government has decided to provide them one month’s salary as bonus. He said that it takes time to fulfill other demands.