A spat over Navaratri celebrations at Karnataka’s Sigandur Chowdeshwari Temple took an ugly turn after the chief priest’s brother assaulted a member of the temple management. A video of the assault went viral on Friday, prompting the Karnataka government to seek a report from the Shivamogga district administration.
Chowdeshwari temple, a well known religious centre in Sigandur, is privately managed by one Ramappa and his family, while Sheshagiri Bhat was appointed as the temple priest.
According to Sagar police, Ramappa and chief priest Sheshagiri Bhat have been at odds over various issues in the last few months. Bhat’s family, police said, resorted to violence after the temple management refused to grant permission to conduct Chandika homa during Navaratri.
“On Friday, Subraya Bhat, brother of Sheshagiri Bhat, rushed to the spot and assaulted Dyavappa Gowda, the temple staff Mahesh and Vimala and also smashed window glasses of the temple office,” a senior police officer from Shivamogga police said.
Following the incident, Deputy Commissioner K.B. Shivakumar and other senior police officers visited the temple and questioned Ramappa and Sheshagiri Bhat. Shivakumar told reporters that he instructed the Assistant Commissioner of Sagar subdivision to file a report on the financial transactions, details of the temple properties and also a separate report on the attack within a week.
Meanwhile, Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa expressed disappointment about the incidents at the temple. “The incident in the Sigandur Chowdeshwari Temple has come to my notice and this incident shouldn’t have happened in the temple,” he told reporters in Shivamogga district on Sunday.
“There is a demand that the Muzrai department takes over the temple after this incident, I have instructed the District Commissioner to look into this matter and also will discuss with Sagar MLA Hartalu Halappa and Soraba MLA Kumar Bangarappa,” Yediyurappa added.
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