SC relief for millenium city temples

Cuttack: In a major relief to the devotees of Cuttack, the Supreme Court on Friday stayed the demolition Khan Nagar Sai temple, Tulasipur Gayatri temple and Chahata Ram temple in the city.

Responding to a petition filed by trustees of the three temples, the court has also directed the district administration to maintain status quo of the temples till further hearing.   
In a similar move earlier this month, the apex court had stayed the demolition of Ananta Gopal Ashram located in Mahanadi Vihar area. The court granted the stay taking up a Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed by the ashram authorities.

The petitioner alleged that though Supreme Court had mentioned that temples constructed after September, 2009 should be demolished but the Orissa high court, violating the order of the apex court, advanced the cut-off date to 1987.

A week back, the district administration’s all efforts to pull down the Sai temple in Khan Nagar went in vain after it faced a unique protest from around 2,500 devotees including women and children who resisted the eviction exercise strongly by chanting night-long prayers and lighting diyas inside the temple.

Equipped with the High Court order, the district administration had launched the illegal temple demolition drive in the city since May 1. Sources said, by now as many as 30 temples and other places of religious importance have been grounded in the city, which had come up illegally on government lands.

The district administration had identified at least 200 illegal structures to be pulled down, which have usurped not less than 50 acres of government land in the city.