Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president K Annamalai announced that the Tiruchirapalli unit of the party would hold a protest today (12 December) against the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HRCE) department over the alleged assault on Ayyappa devotees in the premises of the Sri Ranganatha Swamy temple in Srirangam.
In a post on X (formerly Twitter), he wrote, "A government which has no faith in Hindu Dharma has no business to be in Hindu Temples. The Iyyappa devotees who have had 42 days of Vrath, with all devotion, wanted to pray to Ranganatha Swamy after their return from Sabarimala.
"The Iyyappa devotees questioned the long wait in the queue and special treatment to a select few who were assaulted near the sanctum sanctorum & which resulted in bloodshed inside the Temple premises.
"This arrogance of the HR&CE department is one of the many reasons why @BJP4TamilNadu has been wanting them out of Temple administration. @BJP4TamilNadu’s Trichy district unit will today hold a protest outside the Srirangam Ranganatha Swamy Temple against the TN HR&CE department, demanding the strictest action against those spoiling the sanctity of the Temple."
A video shared by him along with the post showed a devotee with blood on his nose and mouth. He was seen wiping off blood from his hands. Others in the temple could be heard shouting "Police, down down."
In November, while speaking at Srirangam as part of the En Mann En Makkal padayatra, Annamalai had stated that all statues, plaques and flags mocking the Hindu faith, which were kept outside temples would be removed. It was seen as a hint at the removal of the statue of Dravidian ideologue EV Ramasamy near the temple.
He had also stated that the BJP's first day in power in Tamil Nadu would be the last day of the HRCE department.
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