Decision on allowing certain religious events likely on Monday: Poojary

Minister for Muzrai, Backward Classes Welfare and in charge of Dakshina Kannada Kota Srinivasa Poojary said here on Sunday that the government was likely to take a decision on Monday on allowing certain religious events in the State.

The Minister told The Hindu that after the government banned holding of any religious festivals and temple jatras he wrote to Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa on Saturday night requesting him to allow certain events within the purview of COVID-19 guidelines.

Mr. Poojary said that he appealed to the Chief Minister to allow holding Brahmakalasha, Nema, Kola, Bhootaradhane, ‘harake’, yakshagana bayalata, and certain puja rituals in temples, especially in the coastal belt by applying COVID-19 guidelines as they had religious significance. They should be allowed like how other activities have been allowed by restricting the number of participants.

The Minister said he did not ask for allowing jatras and festivals.

Following the letter, Mr. Poojary said Revenue Minister R. Ashok called him up on Sunday and he (Mr. Poojary) apprised him on the need to allow some events. Mr. Ashok told him that the matter would be discussed on Monday and a decision taken.

Meanwhile, Udupi MLA K. Raghupati Bhat on Saturday urged the government to allow holding religious events.

The MLA said in a statement that the coastal belt was known for religious events, which were a source of livelihood for many families. Banning religious events not only hurts religious sentiments but also places a huge dent on the revenue earned by several families. The ban on religious events last year made life miserable for many families. “Do not drive people to despair this year too,” he said.

A group of leaders, comprising representatives of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), temple management committees, and seers had met Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner K.V. Rajendra on Saturday and urged him to allow religious events, including temple jatras.

They told him that the organisers would go ahead with them in Dakshina Kannada as they could not be stopped abruptly. The Minister’s letter followed this development.

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