Karnataka: 12th-century Belur temple asks Muslim vendor running shop for 50 years to immediately stop business activities

A 12th-century Chennakeshava temple in Belur town in Hassan district of Karnataka has issued an eviction notice to a lone Muslim vendor who has been running a shop on the shrine premises for more than five decades, Times of India reported.

On March 28, the temple executive officer Vidyalatha served the notice to a Muslim vendor selling children’s toys for more than 50 years now, asking him to “immediately stop” business activities, as per reports.

Vidyalatha told TOI that she issued the notice under the Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Act, 2002, which disallows leasing or renting premises in a temple complex to non-Hindus.

“I have sent our vendors reply to our Commisioner,” she said.

This comes days after the Belur unit of Bajrang Dal had submitted a petition to the tahsildar seeking a ban on non-Hindu vendors at the temple complex.

Replying to the notice, the Muslim vendor replied has sought permission to continue his business till next year when the agreement with temple authorities ends, the newspaper reported.

Chennakeshava temple complex with 17 commercial shops along with a housing a hotel, milk booth, and godowns, comes under the Karnataka Muzrai department and is set to be recognised as a world heritage site by UNESCO.

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