VHP opposes non-Hindu’s name in temple invitation card

Mangaluru: Hitting out at “interference” of non-Hindus in temple affairs, VHP today objected to printing of Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner A B Ibrahim’s name in the invitation card for a temple car festival at Puttur near here.

VHP Working President M B Puranik said his organisation had strongly condemned the “interference” of non-Hindus in temple affairs.

Local Congress MLA Shakuntala Shetty, who was among the first to raise the issue, backtracked from her earlier statement against the Lord Mahalingeshwara temple authorities for printing the name of Ibrahim for the April 17 car festival.

Puranik’s press conference came in the wake of Shetty backing out from her statement against the invitation, saying the issue could be sorted out legally.

Meanwhile, Ibrahim had also issued a clarification that as district magistrate, his name was printed in the invitation as per protocol.

However, Purnanik said the inclusion of DC’s name in the Puttur temple invitation had “hurt the sentiments” of Hindus and it was ironic that a person who had no belief in Hindu religion was inviting Hindus to take part in the festival.

This was a “clear violation” of the Section 7 of the 1997 Karnataka Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Act, he claimed.

Reacting to Ibrahim’s statement that the controversy over his name in the invitation was out of “intolerance”, Puranik said the DC should not try to teach them what was intolerance.

He added that the organisation had nothing personal against the deputy commissioner and wanted matters to be carried out as per law.

Puranik also condemned the state government’s reported move to appoint five non-Hindus in the Muzrai department governing religious institutions.