The Kerala High Court said that no mass drill or weapons training will be allowed on the premises of the Sarkara Devi Temple in Thiruvananthapuram District. The temple is under the management of the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB).
The court’s direction came when it was disposing of a petition by two devotees seeking an order to prevent the “illegal use and unauthorised occupancy” of the temple premises by the RSS and its members.
The High Court directed the police to provide necessary assistance for the strict compliance of an earlier TDB order banning RSS ‘shakhas’ (branches) and mass drills at the shrines managed by the board.
“No mass drill or weaponry practices (sic) shall be permitted on the premises of the said temple, which is under the management of the Travancore Devaswom Board. The Station House Officer of Chirayinkeezhu Police Station shall render necessary assistance to the Administrative Officer to ensure strict compliance of the prohibition…,” Justices Anil K Narendran and PG Ajithkumar said in a recent order.
The TDB, which manages the temples in Kerala, had on May 18, issued a fresh circular asking officials to strictly follow its earlier order banning RSS ‘shakhas’ (branches) or mass drills in the shrines under it.
In that circular, the TDB said that stern action would be taken against officials who refuse to follow its 2021 order in the same regard.
The TDB had in 2016 issued a circular banning all types of arms training in the temple complexes by the RSS. Later, on March 30, 2021, the board reissued the circular asking officials to take action.
In 2016, the then Devaswom Minister, Kadakampally Surendran, had claimed that the RSS was trying to turn temples into storehouses of arms in Kerala and that the government had been receiving a large number of complaints in this regard.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)