Bhagyalakshmi at Charminar is a legal temple
By Kiran Kumar S
You might have heard about a book published 21 years back, Hindu Temples, What Happened To Them?
Volume 1 was by Arun Shourie, Harsh Narain, Jay Dubhashi, Ram Swarup and Sita Ram Goel : http://www.voiceofdharma.org/books/htemples1/
Volume 2 was by Sita Ram Goel : http://www.voiceofdharma.org/books/htemples2/
There was a systematic study of what happened to thousands of Hindu temples across India which don’t exist as they did centuries back. Elaborate evidence was accumulated, studied and presented in these two volumes. Except the Ayodhya, almost all of these cases of temples are not in public memory or media debate today. People have just ‘moved on’ as you hear in intellectual circles.
But how does the matter come up in political and media circles, even if a tiny (just a few square feet) temple is attached to a structure that is remotely Islamic? Yes, we are talking about the Bhagyalakshmi Temple in Hyderabad, attached to the famous heritage icon, Charminar. It’s a tiny structure, held very high on the devotion scale by lakhs of local Hindus and happens to be adjacent to Charminar, but not inside its premises.
Temple did not exist before!!
These are the screams you will hear periodically, whenever political heat is turned up in old city Hyderabad. Let’s examine the issue using the details from credible authors and important local politicians about the current episode of Bhagyalakshmi Temple.
Two key basics of Hindu worship
Firstly, we must understand one basic heritage of Hindu dharma. Hindus regard almost all things as sacred in this world. Bhagawan or Bhagawati exists everywhere. Go to any village in India and you can find numerous statues or images of Devas and Devis under trees, at the village centre, next to houses, inside houses, next to schools, in front of hospitals/clinics, in shops, in vehicles, in parks and pretty much everywhere. All it takes is a stone to form a temple once people develop enough devotion to that structure. Formal temples built at once using Agama Shastras and Prana Pratishatapana surely help, but you don’t need a formal building for worshiping. In many cases, temples evolve once devotees increase, from the smaller structure before.
So if anyone says the temple did not exist, they must understand that a temple or structure in the current form might not have existed. But that does not mean people did not regard that spot as sacred.
Secondly, one also needs to understand that Hindu dharma is an ever evolving dharma (loosely translated as religion, but not exactly a religion). You might have worshiped a Devi (goddess) in one name today, but a few generations later she might be worshiped with a more contemporary name. My great grandfather worshiped ‘Vinayak’ but I worship ‘Ganapati’, for example. So today’s Bhagyalakshmi might have been worshiped with another name before, as Devis have thousands of names literally (refer to Lalita Sahasra Nama for instance). Bhagyalakshmi may have been worshiped as Maisamma or another name. It is very common in the Telangana area which has Hyderabad in it to have Yellamma, Mahankali and Durgamma as names for devis. But at the core, Hindu dharma scholars will clearly show you the link of all devi worship to the one female power of the almighty.
So, why this hullabaloo about Bhagyalakshmi temple now? Politics! Nothing more, nothing less. One section of Hyderabad politics is against this temple (not just today, but before also), while the other section is fighting for Hindu rights aggressively. Supporting the former section of politicians, some papers produce ‘evidences’. It’s usually the same people who doubt even the narration of even the Telangana native Hindu girl Bhagmati becoming Hyder Begum after religious conversion, on whose name Hyder-a-bad has been setup.
Let’s examine the issue from various angles.
From Books :
Read the current Government of India Minister, and former Under-Secretary-General of United Nations, Shashi Tharoor’s book Elephant, Tiger & Cellphone. On page 42 he describes Bhagyalakshmi Temple at Charminar clearly. The key takeaway from this very learned man’s book is this: “But at the foot of the city’s most famous monument, the four-turreted Charminar, sits a Hindu temple to the goddess Mahalakshmi, the priests chanting their mantras for centuries under the celebrated Islamic minarets.”
The book’s online link is here -> http://books.google.co.in/books?id=uqvpZutXN7cC&lpg=PA42&pg=PA42#v=onepage&q&f=false
Read Srikanta Ghosh’s Indian Democracy Derailed : Politics and Politicians, published in 1997. On pages 73-74 he gives some key information. Srikanta Ghosh was with the Law Research Institute of Calcutta.
The book’s online link is here: http://books.google.co.in/books?id=RGyO0E86X1oC&lpg=PA74&pg=PA74#v=onepage&q&f=false
– The Charminar temple was in her memory.
– Even now (in 1997 when the book was written), a Harijan woman is the trustee of the temple.
– Bhagyalakshmi temple’s desecration on November 23, 1979, has no parallel. See this clipping from the book, for more details of why the temple was attacked in 1979.
Read Roshen Dalal’s book (page 220) where it is described as to why Goddess Lakshmi is linked to Charminar’s guard.
This is more from the local stories -> http://books.google.co.in/books?id=DH0vmD8ghdMC&lpg=PA220&pg=PA220#v=onepage&q&f=false
From the local politicians’ claims :
Let us present three local politicians, who are supporting the temple.
First : Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee’s General Secretary, G Niranjan, claims the following, as reported by Siasat –http://www.siasat.com/english/news/pcc-leader-disputes-old-pictures-charminar
1. Till 1979, it was just a two-three feet idol and after it got damaged after being hit by a RTC bus, the then Chief Minister Marri Chenna Reddy ordered the construction of a temple through the Endowments Department.
2. Mir Mahboob Ali Pasha, the 6th Nizam, had sent puja articles to Bhagyalakshmi temple during the Musi floods of 1908. Yes, the Congress leader is mentioning a 104-year-old event involving this small temple.
3. Senior citizens with G Niranjan, Dharamchand Tayal (76), Naga Hanumantha Rao (76), Mallesh Goud (69) and Raj Ratnam (63) claimed that they have been performing puja at the temple since their childhood.
4. Niranjan said he was now 61-year-old and he has been visiting the temple and also the Chilla abutting the Charminar since he was five. That means puja is being performed by the Congress’s general secretary, who is a local in the area, for 56 years!
Second : Andhra Pradesh’s BJP MLA and party chief, G Kishan Reddy, has confidently tweeted that the State Government endowment records clearly prove the existence of Bhagyalakshmi temple statue for last 200 years. Can anyone deny?http://twitter.com/kishanreddybjp/status/272010439209132033
Third : Raja Singh of Telugu Desam Party. He is associated with the Facebook page Sri Ram Channel which is in the forefront of support for Bhagyalakshmi temple. His Facebook page also has support to the temple : https://www.facebook.com/T.RajaSingh
From the Government Record
The Andhra Pradesh Government’s Endowments Department clearly lists Charminar’s Bhagyalakshmi temple under the serial number 4839 as a legitimate temple bringing revenue to the Government, under the classification 6C. If the temple was ‘illegal’, why would a secular Government extract its income for Government use?
From the culture and heritage of Hyderabad
Beyond the politics, books and Government records, it is very clear that local Hyderabad people have always regarded this small temple as a core part of their cultural and religious heritage. Of course, they want to keep it that way for the future too. We have talked to many local people who recall generations of devotees for this famous temple. If any journalist wants to go further and talk to the local people, leave a comment and we will assist you in interviewing local Hindus who have patronised the Bhagyalakshmi Temple for long time.
For decades, Sri Bhagyalakshmi Temple at Charminar has been a well sought out place for Hindu men, women and children.
This is how the small temple is decorated using temporary extension during Dussehra and Deepawali festivals for a few days each year. After the festivals, the extended decorations are removed. Note that all decorations are temporary, and is on the street side, with absolutely nothing going inside the historic Charminar. There are thousands of such temporary decorations across India, during various religious festivals and this one is not anything out of the ordinary.
During other festivals too this temple is crowded. Men, women and children assemble in the narrow space to ring the temple bells, offer flowers, coconuts and offer puja to Goddess Lakshmi, and move on quickly. This picture is from Ugadi festival, which is new year’s day for Andhra Pradesh Hindus.
During major festivals like Deepawali, the queues of devotees are very long, with thousands of men and women waiting in separate lines around Charminar. This queue is from the 2012 Deepawali.
The latest dispute
For decades, every Daussehra and Deepawali sees the extra decoration of the temple and murti. Celebrations are going on mostly without any objection from any political party, police or the courts. The Police Commissioner’s office should have the details of decades of celebrations submitted by the temple’s patrons. The latest temple structure was constructed by the Government of Andhra Pradesh in the 1970s, most likely a reconstruction as the original statue was damaged by a Government bus ramming into it. With the temple clearly listed in the Endowments Department records available online, with its donations from devotees used by the Government for decades, there is no question of any legal issue with this temple.
The main objection of the temple’s opponents is that it may be damaging the heritage site Charminar. This ‘protect Charminar monument’ argument seems lame, political and most likely communal. Because, even though the temple is clearly outside the Charminar, with all decorations and gatherings happening on the street side, there is a ‘chilla’, or Muslim religious site, inside the Charminar complex. You can see in this picture the details. The temple’s flags are on the left, while the chilla is on the right with a green banner, inside the Charminar complex. If you watch carefully, you can see that the Chilla is damaging the Charminar with black marks (maybe due to incense smoke). If someone truly wanted to ‘protect’ the heritage monument, they would have also spoken strongly against a Muslim religious site inside the more-than-400-year-old Charminar with black stains right over that site.
The irony is that, the same people who went to court against the temple’s temporary decoration in 2012 wanted to march in thousands to the chilla inside the Charminar to offer ‘salaam’. The police prevented such massive crowds from gathering and arson and violence broke out, resulting in the arrest of many local politicians.
What should be done?
The important thing to note is that peace is essential. Bhagyalakshmi temple should be left as is. It has existed for a long time, it has been a sacred Hindu site in independent India, it is a legal temple registered by the State Government’s Endowments Department, generating revenue for the Government, and it is a sign of the cultural/religious diversity of Hyderabad.
The other key thing is that the temporary temple decorations happen for a few days, during major festivals, and are completely on the street side. They would in no way affect the heritage site of Charminar physically.
Picture credits: Sri Ram Facebook channel, Newswala, Umasudhir at WordPress.
Source : Niti Central
November 23, 2012
Bhagyanagar (Hyderabad, Andhra Praesh) : Trouble in the Old City of Hyderabad is all set to intensify with Hindu groups insisting – in what is a new assertion – that a temple existed at the site of the Charminar years before the monument came up. A modern day temple dedicated to Goddess Bhagyalakshmi may have come up in the 1980s but a stone idol was worshipped at the spot where the temple now abuts the Charminar for centuries , they claimed. “A temple existed even before Charminar was built and although the present structure came up later, we are committed to the protection of the temple at any cost,” Bhagwant Rao, head of the Bhagyalakshmi Temple Protection Samithi told TOI on Thursday. Hindu leaders say they have merely erected a bamboo structure and a tarpaulin canopy to give shelter to devotees from heat and cold, and it will stay that way.
The local Muslims, mainly led by the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) Party have vehemently protested near the Charminar against this expansion of the Bhagyalakshmi temple, saying it was illegal and could damage the historic monument and needs to be pulled down.
“If the authorities do not step in and stop mischief mongers, we will simply have to use self-defence,” Rao said.
Political analysts and security experts apprehend that the area could see communal flare-ups increasing and possible clashes, if authorities do not step in and force the religious leaders to tone down. The police however perceive that the tension will only continue till December 6, anniversary of Babri Masjid demolition .
In anticipation of trouble, the police are forcibly shutting down shops early in the evening and have intensified patrolling in the area. Raja Singh, TDP corporator often at the forefront of communal trouble has now initiated a Facebook campaign in favour of Bhagyalakshmi temple, describing it as an “international issue” . “The Hindus of today are much more prepared and in spite of being outnumbered by Muslims in the area, they will fight to the end to save the temple,” Singh said.
Analysts say religious flare-ups over the Bhagyalakshmi temple at Charminar might play a major role leading up to the next assembly elections in 2014 as both Hindutva inclined formations and MIM could try to fan religious sentiments to woo voters. “The temple has been there, whether for three decades or four centuries , but there was no confilict over it. Why has the matter been raked up now? The answer is obvious, ” said Ashok Kumar (name changed), a resident of the locality.
Source : TOI
November 19, 2012
Unidentified people set afire six cars near the Andhra Pradesh High Court early on Monday, police said. The arson attack took place when the situation in the old city was returning to normal after violent incidents on Friday.
Police said cars parked in the Ghansi Bazar area near the high court premises were set ablaze by some youths who came on motorcycles. Police have retrieved the footage of the arsonists from closed circuit cameras installed in the area and were trying to identify them.
The footage showed a youth pouring petrol on a car and setting it afire before fleeing on a motorcycle with his accomplice. The attack was recorded 3.20 a.m.
Police suspect it to be an attempt to incite violence in the old city, which witnessed a series of attacks and clashes in the past two weeks over a temple abutting the historic Charminar monument. As many as 10 people were injured and many vehicles were set afire during the violence near Charminar Friday.
The communally-sensitive area was simmering over alleged expansion of the temple abutting the Charminar in violation of court orders.
Accusing the Congress government of colluding with communal forces, its ally Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) last week withdrew support to it.
Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy Monday reviewed the law and order situation with Director General of Police Dinesh Reddy and other top police officials.
Source : DNA
November 17, 2012
Shri Raja Singh in press release told that, when police stopped Hindus from doing pooja at Bhagyalaxmi temple on Diwali and as well as yesterday, then why not police stop Muslims from doing Namaz as police expected violence after the Namaz. He also said that the violence after the namaz was pre planned. The target was to attack Bhagyalakshmi Mata Temple in name of praying at the chilla at Charminar, but that was averted due to the grace of Bhagyalakshmi Mata. Police did injustice with Hindus by not allowing them to perform pooja at Bhagyalakshmi Temple and by allowing Muslims to hold namaz in mosque nearby Charminar. Many vehicles and shops of Hindus were targeted by fanatics. We strongly demand to arrest MIM MP, MLAs and other fanatics who were involved in violence.
Source : Sri Ram Channel Facebook Page
November 16, 2012
Bhagyanagar (Andhra Pradesh) : Violence rocked the old city of Hyderabad on Friday again, after the police barricaded the entire area around Charminar to prevent people from gathering near the historical monument.
At least seven people were injured in stone-pelting, said the police. Two vehicles and five motor cycles were burnt by the miscreants.
Policemen and Rapid Action Force personnel fired tear gas shells at several places including Charminar, Panjeshaha and Kotla Aalijah areas.
The trouble started soon after Friday prayers at Mecca Masjid, when worshippers who were leaving the mosque tried to move towards the Charminar. Policemen started chasing the crowd with lathis, which reacted by pelting stones at them.
Chaos ensued as RAF men fired teargas shells from across the barricades near Charminar. Roads wore a deserted look as all the shops and hotels in the area were closed.
Tension has been simmering in the area since Thursday night, after the police started putting up barbed wires and barricades to cordon off the area around the historic monument, to thwart the plans of several Muslim organisations to offer prayers at a shrine inside Charminar.
Police officials did not allow them to do so, pointing out that the shrine was abutting the temple, which has become the subject of a raging dispute.
Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen president and Hyderabad member of Parliament Asaduddin Owaisi had earlier said that thousands of Muslims will go to the Chhilla or shrine in Charminar after Friday prayers to perform the religious rite of Fateha.
He wondered how the police can stop people when it had allowed thousands of people from another community to hold prayers there during Diwali.
Police Commissioner Anurag Sharma had convened a meeting of Muslim religious leaders on Thursday to seek their cooperation in maintaining peace.
While the religious leaders assured him of full cooperation, they sought police permission to hold prayers at the Charminar shrine. But the police declined to grant permission and barricades were put up overnight.
The temple and the shrine have coexisted for a long time and both communities have been offering prayers there.
The situation has turned murky ever since the temple committee allegedly made an attempt to expand its area. The committee has now laid a canopy over the temple.
The dispute has taken on a political colour after the MIM withdrew the support of its seven legislators from the ruling Congress government, accusing it of being communal and indulging in anti-Muslim policies.
Source : Rediff
November 14, 2012
United Muslim Action Committee, an umbrella of more than a dozen Muslim organisations of Andhra Pradesh, on Wednesday declared an all-out war against ruling Congress party, specially Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy.
Supporting the decision of one of its constituents Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen to withdraw support from the Congress, UMAC said that it will launch a statewide campaign from last week of November to create awareness among Muslims against the ‘unholy nexus between the state Congress government and Sangh Parivar’.
“The chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy has time and again proved that he has joined hands with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Bharatiya Janata Party, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and other organisations of the same ilk”, said Abdul Raheem Qureshi, convenor of the committee after a meeting.
The meeting was attended by the representatives from all the sects of Muslim community as well as several socio-religious organisations including Asaduddin Owaisi and several MLAs of MIM, Raheem Qureshi of Tameer-e-Millat, Akbar Nizamuddin and Qabool Pasha Shattari of Jamiatul Mashaiq, Moulana Jafar Pasha of Amaraat-e-Millat-e-Islami, representatives of Ahl-e-Hadith, Shia and Mehdvi sects of Muslims.
“We will address public meetings across the state and tell the people of how the Congress government was targeting the Muslim community”, Qureshi said.
“Congress leaders are in fool’s paradise if they think that only MIM was breaking its relations with Congress. Entire Muslim community is disowning them because of their blatant communal attitude”, he said.
The discord between Congress and the Muslim minority, which started a fortnight ago over the dispute temple near historic monument of Charminar in Hyderabad, has now blown in to an all out confrontation. (Why Media is calling Shri Bhagyalakshmi Mata Temple as disputed temple ?)
“It is clear that the Congress leadership at the high level was supporting the communal elements in provocative activities including the expansion of an illegal stricture in violation of the high court orders”, he said.
Asaduddin Owaisi said that while an “economic blockade” and police siege was imposed on the old city and all the shops remain closed for the fourth consecutive day on Wednesday, the family of deputy Chief Minister Damodar Rajanarasimha was permitted to visit the temple last evening for performing pooja.
“This has corroborated once again the anti-secular attitude of this government. I am waiting for the day when the chief minister will also visit this temple for darshan”, he added. (Does MIM’s Owiasi want to say that if a Hindu politician performing a pooja is anti-secularism )
He said that not only shops, but kiosks or fruit vendors were not being allowed to do business in the area but all the roads were completely sealed, people were not being allowed to venture out and even the patients in Unani hospital were deprived of food, medicine and water.
“Our people had to provide some fruits to the patients”, he said.
“Only people coming for pooja at the temple are being allowed to enter the sealed area and all other people are being stopped”, Owaisi said.
“This is a systematic attempt to destroy the Muslim economy in the area. The daily wage earners and small businessmen are forced to starve. This is the extent of the vindictiveness of this cowardly government. Because MIM has withdrawn support, the government was trying to punish the Muslims”, he said.
Later a delegation of the UMAC met Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anurag Sharma and State Human Rights Commissioner Nisar Ahmad Kukru demanding lifting of the police siege, clearing the road blockades and opening of shops and businesses.
The stand taken by the UMAC is a big blow to the Congress party as it had played a major role in mobilising the support of Muslims in 2004 and 2009 elections for Congress party and the then Chief Minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy had openly acknowledged it.
Source : Rediff
November 12, 2012
The Bharatiya Janata Party has accused the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, which withdrew support from the ruling Congress government in Andhra Pradesh on Monday, of pursuing a politics of blackmail and adopting undemocratic methods.
State BJP president G Kishan Reddy refuted MIM president Asaduddin Owaisi’s allegation of connivance between the Congress government and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-Bharatiya Janata Party combine.
“It is all false propaganda. There is no truth in the allegation that the government was acting in favour of RSS and the BJP. On the other hand, the Congress and the MIM have been friends for a long time,” he said.
Kishan Reddy alleged that by coming in the way of the renovation of the temple at Charminar monument, MIM was trying to hamper communal peace. He alleged that there could be other reasons for the MIM turning against Congress party.
Meanwhile, tension and curfew-like situation continued to prevail in the old city of Hyderabad and police forced shops to down their shutters early. An eerie silence prevailed in the normally busy area around Charminar.
The police also arrested leaders and activists of some right-wing organisation, including religious leader Paripurnananda Swamy, when they tried to take out a rally towards the temple at Charminar.
Bhagwant Rao, the convenor of Bhagyalakshmi Temple Protection Committee, alleged that the police did not allow people to visit the temple and perform puja.
Source : Rediff
November 12, 2012
Bhagyanagar (Andhra Pradesh) : The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) has withdrawn its support to the UPA Government at the Centre and to the Congress government in Andhra Pradesh.
Announcing this at a crowded press conference here on Monday, the Majlis president and Hyderabad MP, Asaduddin Owaisi said he had already faxed the letter announcing withdrawal of support to the President’s office. A similar letter would also be submitted to the Andhra Pradesh governor shortly.
The AIMIM is represented by its president Mr. Owaisi in the Lok Sabha, while it has seven members in the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly.
The arrest of seven MIM legislators on Sunday over the contentious issue of Bhagya Laxmi temple abutting the historic Charminar and the continuing communal tensions in the State capital are the immediate reasons that seemed to have led the MIM to sever its ties with the Congress.
Mr. Owaisi launched a broadside against the Kiran Kumar Reddy government accusing it of being ‘indecisive’ and ‘pandering’ to the ‘sangh parivar activists’. The MIM chief maintained that the Congress government has turned anti-people and anti-minority in the recent times.
Attacks against the muslims have been increasing from 2010 onwards and despite being alerted, the government was doing nothing to stop them, Mr. Owaisi alleged.
“Our first priority is to bring down the Government, expose its mis-governance, anti-people and anti-minority policies”, Mr. Owaisi declared as a huge crowd that gathered at Darussalam, the MIM headquarters, cheered.
He parried a direction answer to a question whether the MIM would join hands with the YSR Congress Party, but left sufficient indications of the party’s thinking. “Jagan Reddy is my friend. Kiran Reddy was my friend”, he replied and hastened to add “let the elections be announced and then we will take a call. Even Kejriwal’s party could also be there [for consideration of alliance]”.
Source : The Hindu
November 12, 2012
HYDERABAD: Sporadic incidents of violence rocked the Old City after Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) legislators were arrested by police when they were trying to march towards Bhagyalakshmi temple at Charminar on Sunday. At some places, police had to fire tear gas shells and resort to mild lathicharge to disperse protestors.
The MLAs gathered in the Old City after the Bhagyalakshmi temple management restored tarpaulin on the make-shift pandal with the assistance of the Hyderabad district administration as per the high court’s order.
At 5am, police barricaded all streets leading to Charminar from Gulzar Houz, Shah Ali Banda, Kotla Alijah Hussaini Alam, Moghulpura and Mirchowk.
Under the supervision of officials from the Hyderabad collectorate, GHMC and Archeological Survey of India (ASI), the temple management began restoring the tarpaulin at 7am and completed it in an hour. Police provided security cover for the entire operation.
On learning about the tarpaulin restoration work, seven MIM legislators, including their floor leader in the Assembly, Akbaruddin Owaisi, gathered at Volta cafe in Moghalpura at 8am. As they were planning to move towards Bhagyalakshmi temple, police, who were already waiting there, picked up the legislators along with six corporators.
However, while they were being shifted into police vehicles, the legislators managed to give the slip to the cops. Another team of police personnel posted at Kotla Alijah intercepted five MLAs — Akbaruddin Owaisi, Ahmed Balala, Ahmed Pasha Quadri, Moazzam Khan, Mumtaz Khan — along with the corporators, were taken into custody again.
Two other legislators, MLA Mohammed Muqtada Khan alias Afsar Khan and MLC Altaf Hyderabad Rizvi, who managed to escape even from there, were arrested near Gulzar Houz. All the arrested legislators and corporators were shifted to the Bolarum police station.
Later in the day, Nampally MLA Virasat Rasool Khan and four corporators reached Ravindra Bharathi, where chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy was attending an event organized on the occasion of Minorities’ Welfare Day, and staged a protest against the arrest of his party leaders. Police immediately picked up the MLA and his associates and shifted them to the Gandhi Nagar police station.
As the news of arrest of MIM leaders started flashing on news channels, sporadic incidents of stone pelting were reported at Chandrayangutta X Roads, Anmol Hotel, Edi Bazar, Kalabhairavi temple, Hussainialam and Musabowli X Roads.
Four RTC buses, two cars, an ATM and a garments showroom were damaged in the violence. A mob targeted RTC buses on the Chandrayangutta main road and broke windshields of three buses.
Police had to resort to mild lathicharge to disperse the mob at Chandrayangutta and several people, including MIM corporator Samad, suffered minor injuries.
Protestors carrying black flags staged dharnas at Gulzar Houz, Nalgonda X Roads, Chanderghat, Chanchalguda, Tolichowki, Humayun Nagar and Punjagutta. Effigies of the state government were burnt at Machili Kaman and Charminar. Later in the evening, police fired tear gas shells and lathi-charged the stone-hurling mob at Talabkatta in Bhavani Nagar.
Hyderabad police commissioner Anurag Sharma supervised the situation from his office at Purani Haveli since morning. Later in the night, the commissioner issued a press release clarifying that they had only provided bandobust for implementation of the high court orders.
“In relation to the high court’s orders, the collector and the GHMC commissioner had consulted Archeological Survey of India (ASI) officials to determine the status (of temple pandal cover) as on October 30. ASI gave its opinion in writing that on October 30, there was a cover on the temporary structure at the temple. Based on these facts, the civic authorities permitted the Bhagyalakshmi temple committee to cover the temple structure with tarpaulin sheets, as an interim measure. Since, it was a sensitive issue, police force was deployed in the area to maintain peace and law & order,” Anurag Sharma said in the release.
Police booked 18 cases in relation to Sunday’s violence and arrested 109 persons. By 6.45pm, all the arrested legislators were released.
Source : TOI
Bhagyalakshmi Temple issue : Hindu Leader T Raja Singh arrested by Police for trying to enter in temple
November 10, 2012
T. Raja Singh has been arrested by task force police, West Zone (Secunderabad) while he was on the way to have darshan at Bhagyalaxmi Mata Mandir. No details about where he has been taken till now.
Source : Sri Ram Channel Facebook Page
November 10, 2012
A rally by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) created mild tension here Saturday with the police arresting its leaders and activists for trying to advance towards the state secretariat, an official said.
Andhra Pradesh state BJP president G Kishan Reddy, senior leader Bandaru Dattatreya and other leaders and activists were arrested by the police at Indira Park.
The party had organised the rally to protest to what it called attempts by Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) to hurt religious sentiments of Hindus. It alleged that the Congress government had become a tool in the hands of MIM.
The rally started from Baghlingam Pally and was to conclude at Indira Park but the protestors tried to march towards secretariat. There was tension as the police stopped the rally and the protestors entered into an argument with police.
Earlier, Kishan Reddy alleged that MIM was stalling the development work of Bhagyalakshmi Temple abutting the historic Charminar. He alleged Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy was following diktats of the MIM.
The BJP leader also found fault with Telugu Desam Party and the Left parties for their silence over the MIM activities.
The Andhra Pradesh High Court earlier this week had directed the government not to allow expansion work at the temple. It was dealing with public interest litigations filed by three MIM leaders.
The expansion work at the temple abutting the monument had last week sparked tension in the communally sensitive old city.
Source : DNA
November 7, 2012
Here is a quote by MIM President about ongoing issue regarding so-called expansion of Shri Bhagyalakshmi Temple near Charminar in Bhagyanagar (Hyderabad) :
1. “We don’t see this as a Hindu vs Muslim issue. Our only demand is that the law should be implemented to protect the monument. The heritage belongs to everyone. It has to be protected,” said Owaisi. (Source : Times of India)
But what MIM President was doing to protect Charminar, when some part of it fell due to rain in 2012.
Here is NDTV Report on this
Hyderabad: A part of Hyderabad’s Charminar has fallen off after heavy rain in the city over the last few days.
The 400-year-old monument is a Hyderabadi icon and a national treasure.
An ornamental portion of one of the four minarets has crumbled away.
The poor condition of the monument – obvious to any visitor – has been begging for attention.
Experts from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) say restoration will begin after the monsoon and that despite the portion that has fallen away, the basic structure of the Charminar is stable.
Source : NDTV
Here are few photos by Sri Ram Channel Facebook Page exposing lies about ‘damage to Charminar due to Bhagyalakshmi Mandir pandal work’
As claimed by the section of URDU media that the Charminar window was broken by doing temple work, check the photo which is older photo which shows the window was already broken. Even there was an incident on August 30, 2010 when a large part of the one of the minar fell due to rains.
First they posted a pic with some horizontal window from other part of the Charminar, they seems found out the blunder and posted another image, check the next image, even there did a blunder see the before after pic, how come the bamboo not obstructing the before pic view ?
Check the width of BEFORE window pic, and after window width, caught again.
Dargah which is inside Charminar has caused more damage than anything to Charminar beauty! Check the pic, which clearly shows how Charminar has been BLACKNED by the activities of rituals by burning agarbattis or something which has caused so much of damage to Charminar, ASADUDDIN OWASI in his press conference was talking about saving Charminar is the issue and it is not a HINDU OR MUSLIM issue, so why not they have taken note of the activities of the Dargah which has caused BLACKNING of the Charminar, it clearly shows there SECULARISM and exposes them big time again.
See how SECULAR people are writing there names on the Charminar.
Reference : Sri Ram Channel Facebook page
Visit for more details : Sri Ram Channel Facebook
November 6, 2012
HYDERABAD: Trustees of the Bhagyalakshmi temple in the Old City, currently caught in the midst of a communal tension, said on Tuesday they were only replacing worn-out bamboo structures with new ones ahead of the festive season. and were against violence at a time when authorities are strengthening security to thwart any violence.
Temple trustees say the controversial structure is nothing more than a space for devotees to conglomerate, especially on the occasion of Diwali. “Our family has been managing the temple operations for decades now. We are the fourth generation that has taken up the reins of the religious structure,” claims Sasikala, one of the five trustees of the temple. “Each time there is damage to the bamboo structure we replace it. It is an ongoing process,” she said.
Communal tension has triggered at Charminar and adjoining areas over rumours that the temple authorities were expanding the existing premises, fuelling fears of damage to the historic Charminar.
Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owasi has alleged that government inaction, mainly by the police was responsible for the communal tension over the past few days, which has seen stray incidents of stabbing in the area, while the high court ordered a status quo on any expansion of the Charminar temple.
Source : TOI
November 5, 2012
Voicing concern over increasing incidents of communal violence and inaction of the Congress government in Andhra Pradesh, the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) Monday warned that it would not hesitate to go against the government.
The MIM, which has a strong base in Hyderabad, also warned the government that if it failed to come to the community’s rescue, the party would be at liberty to do whatever is required.
MIM is extending crucial legislative support to the Congress, which has a slender majority in the Andhra assembly.
The United Muslim Action Committee, of which MIM is a member, held a meeting here Monday and asked the state government to act tough against Hindutva forces and take action against policemen for their inaction.
It said an ‘explosive’ situation was prevailing in the city due to activities of Hindutva groups including attempts to expand a temple near the Charminar. Warning that this could flare up and have serious repercussions for the state and the country, MIM chief and MP Asaduddin Owaisi said communal elements were having a free run in the city with police either colluding with them or acting as a mute spectator.
Speaking to reporters, Owaisi said a fear psychosis had been created in the city on the eve of Eid-ul-Azha with the animal husbandry department and police seizing cattle brought for sacrifice.
Voicing concern over last week’s violence in Sabzi Mandi, the MP said, “For the last five days the entire area is under an undeclared curfew. Barbed fencing has been put only around Muslim localities and people are not being allowed to move. They are suffering because of lack of medicines and other basic amenities.”
United Muslim Action Committee convenor Abdul Rahim Quraishi asked the government not to test the patience of Muslims and warned that lawlessness would have serious repercussions.
Condemning the police attitude, he said the groups spreading hatred against Muslims were allowed to carry on their activities in the name of cow slaughter. The committee sought against those who prevented bulls and bullocks from being brought to Hyderabad and stabbing of Muslims youths. “We know there is a ban on cow slaughter but there is no law which bans slaughter of bulls and bullocks,” said Quraishi.
The Muslim leaders asked the government, Archaeological Society of India (ASI) and the police to immediately stop attempts to expand the temple abutting Charminar. “We don’t see this as a Hindu vs Muslim issue. Our only demand is that the law should be implemented to protect the monument. The heritage belongs to everyone. It has to be protected,” said Owaisi.
Source : DNA
November 5, 2012
HYDERABAD: The high court on Monday directed the state government and its police and archaeology departments to maintain status quo (as on October 30, 2012) in respect of the safety of the structure of the Charminar. The division bench comprising acting chief justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose and justice Vilas V Afzalpurkar passed the order while hearing a petition filed by Mohsin Bin Abdullah Balala, the GHMC corporator representing Patherghatti division who has charged authorities with allowing the alleged expansion of Bhagya Lakshmi temple under Charminar.
Appearing for the petitioner, senior counsel Bojja Tarakam told the court that any expansion and tinkering with the pillars of the monument would threaten the safety of the structure and hence should not be allowed. Scaffolding has been put up and that has been done by tinkering with the pillars of the protected monument, he said.
The bench, while acknowledging the existence of a temple under the structure, said that since Charminar was a protected monument, no construction should be taken up by any party, including the temple committee, which may cause damage to it. And, authorities should maintain status quo as was prevailing on October 30, the bench observed.
The bench gave authorities four weeks in which to file their counters.
The latest HC order to maintain status quo at Bhagyalakshmi temple has created more trouble for police. To implement the order, tarpaulin roof of the make-shift structure has to be put back in its place. Incidentally, people of the community supported by MIM have been opposing it for the past few days. “The temple management started removing tarpaulin of the pandal on October 31 to replace it with a new one. So, as per the court’s order, the tarpaulin has to be put on the pandal,” a Charminar police officer said.
“As of now, we do not know when the temple management will put up the tarpaulin. But whenever they wish to do that, we will provide the necessary bandobust and security,” the officer said. The situation is likely to remain tense at Charminar till Diwali.
Meanwhile, Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi approached the State Human Rights Commission alleging harassment by police towards members of a particular community. According to the petition, Owaisi stated that imposing Section 144 of the IPC in parts of Old City in the name of communal clashes was causing of inconvenience to the public. He demanded that it should be lifted immediately as the police had even imposed traffic restrictions. Admitting the case, chairperson of the commission Justice Kakru ordered the DGP and chief secretary of the state to inquire in to the issue and submit a report within 48 hours.
Source : TOI
Bhagyalakshmi Temple issue : Police give written promise to fanatics about not allowing construction
October 2, 2012
There is constant attack on Hindus’ seats of worship by fanatics !
- MIM, an organization of Pro-Pakistan fanatics oppose construction of roof over ‘Bhagyalakshmi’ temple at Bhagyanagar (Andhra Pradesh)
- Hindus should unite and oppose this !
- Hindus should try to get ban imposed on the organization MIM of Pro-Pakistan fanatics !
Police manhandling Hindus near Bhagyalakshmi Mandir
Bhagyanagar (Andhra Pradesh) : MLAs of the party of fanatics called ‘Majlis-e-Ittehudul–Muslimeen (MIM)’ raised objection to erection of roof over Shri Bhagyalashmi Temple near Charminar area. This has created tension in Bhagyanagar. (In India, fanatics object to expansion of Hindus’ temples and they are helped by secular Congress Govt. Hindus should realize that politicians from all parties, who are giving sermons only to Hindus on secularism, would never advocate such things to fanatics; therefore, Hindus should establish Hindu Rashtra to teach a lesson to fanatics ! – Editor SP) Police gave written promise to the fanatics that they would not allow such construction.(Circumcised Indian Police ! Although the rulers, police and administrator are Hindus by birth, they are going against Dharma under the guise of so-called secularism ! – Editor SP)
1. The managing committee of temple had started work of erecting roof made of tin, over the temple on Wednesday; but hundreds of Pro-Pakistan fanatics gathered outside the temple on Thursday morning and opposed that work. (In India, fanatics have constructed their unauthorized constructions at many places; but lifeless Hindus never raised any objection. Hindus should wake up and try to protect temples with unity ! – Editor SP) Police went to the place of incident and tried to bring the situation under control.
2. MLA Ahmad Pasha Kadri and Ahmad Balala of MIM lodged a complaint with the police against the construction.
3. They demanded demolition of construction and started demonstrations in front of the temple. (Lack of unity amongst Hindus is the cause of fanatics daring to sit in front of temple and demand demolition; but Hindus cannot take out religious procession in front of fanatics’ places of worship. Establishment of Hindu Rashtra is necessary to change this situation ! – Editor SP)
4. Police gave a promise in writing, to the demonstrating fanatics that new construction of the temple would not be allowed; after which fanatics stopped their agitation. (It is an order issued by the rulers that fanatics should not be hurt at any cost and there is no need to pay any attention to Hindus; therefore, it is of no use to expect anything different from police! – Editor SP)
Source : Daily Sanatan Prabhat
November 3, 2012
Why Media reports are calling Shri Bhagyalakshmi Temple as illegal or disputedm, when only some pandal work by Temple committee issue is there ?
Even as attempts to expand the disputed temple adjacent to historic monument of Charminar left a “Jali” or stuccowork of a window broken, the continuing row sparked the stray incidents of violence in old city of Hyderabad on Friday.
Bhagyanagar (Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh) : Despite the police making elaborate security arrangements in view of the Friday congregation in the nearby Mecca Masjid, groups of people of two communities gathered and indulged in slogan-shouting and stone-pelting.
The row had started day before, after the temple committee made an attempt to put up a shed over the temple, evoking protests from the other community. While police had brought the situation under control by stopping the construction work and taking 15 workers of the BJP and Bajrang Dal and some members of the temple committee into custody, tension started building up again on Friday morning as 200 Hindu activists gathered at the temple and continued shouting slogans.
A group of Muslims, coming out of the Mecca Masjid after the prayers also tried to rush towards the temple. The police and the Rapid Action Force had erected barriers and formed a human wall to keep the two sides away from each other.
Local MIM MLAs Ahmad Pasha Quadri and Moazzam Khan tried to pacify the crowd and persuaded them to disperse peacefully. However, in the melee some miscreants threw stones, damaging two vehicles. The police had to chase the crowd away.
While the Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anurag Sharma said that the dispute was resolved, the problem was still festering as the temple committee was insisting to put up with the shed.
BJP MLA Mr. Kishan Reddy arrive at Bhagyalakshmi Mandir
State BJP president G Kishan Reddy, who visited the temple on Thursday and offered prayers there, alleged that the police was coming in the way of “repair work” at the temple under pressure from the MIM.
The wooden pillars erected by the temple committee were still in place. As one of the wooden pillars had nudged into a window of Charminar, its intricate stuccowork was damaged.
Meanwhile, the MIM MLA Ahmad Pasha Quadri met the Superintendent Archaeologist of ASI and demanded the mosque atop the Charminar should be opened for prayers by Muslims. He said that when people were being allowed to offer puja at the temple which was a recent addition, they cannot stop the other community from using its place of worship, which was also a part of Charminar.
The controversy over temple near Charminar is almost four-decade-old, during which the small temporary structure was developed into a concrete one. But, it has come to the fore again at a time when the International Council on Monuments and Sites is in Hyderabad to assess the claim that Charminar and other historic monuments of Hyderabad should be awarded the World Heritage status.
Sources said Charminar was unlikely to be accorded the status, given the presence of a temple as well as a Muslim shrine or ‘Chhilla’ and the failure of ASI in keeping up with the proper maintenance of the monument.
The ASI, the custodian of the monument is maintaining a steady silence on the row. There was no response from the ASI officials in Hyderabad. Despite orders from the Andhra Pradesh High Court, the ASI had failed to curb the illegal structure adjacent to and in vicinity of Charminar.
Source : Daily Pioneer