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Police And City Hall Remove Deities From Hindu Temple in Malaysia

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MALAYSIA, September 03, 2013 (by Rita Jong, The Malaysian Insider): Police and City Hall should have consulted temple officials before forcing their way into Muneswarar Kaliyaman temple and removing statues of deities without observing Hindu religious practices. Malaysian Hindu Sangam president Datuk RS Mohan Shan said the authorities forceful removal of the deities by non-Hindus who do not know Hindu religious practices was a grave mistake. “There is no excuse for such arrogant behavior,” he said in a statement today.

“Our Hindu temples are ready to make way for development. It was unnecessary for the police and City Hall enforcement to come in big numbers and create a tense situation,” he said. “Political leaders and government officials must find solutions to avert such incidences,” said Mohan Shan, adding that he will be sending a memorandum to the Prime Minister on the matter soon. The temple, which was built in 1911 in Jalan P. Ramlee, sits on reserve land meant for roads or walkways.

Last year, the temple committee received an eviction notice after Hap Seng Land, which is building a 30-story office block on the adjacent plot, was told that it would be given a certificate-of-fitness only if it built in a 2.4-meter walkway along the building, in line with City Hall requirements. But that could not be done because the temple occupies the land. Despite the intervention of local government, the temple committee and the developer failed to come to an agreement. The developer previously offered to relocate the temple to Sepang but it was rejected as the temple has historical value. After numerous failed attempts to reach an agreement, the developer took City Hall to court. The court then served an injunction to the temple and City Hall served it an eviction notice.

Several politicians, including MIC Youth Chief, T Mohan and PKR’s deputy human rights chief S Jayathas were arrested when they tried to stop City Hall from demolishing the temple on Sunday.

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