Despite protest, idol removed from forest area


Tension prevailed for a while at Arapalayam Junction in Hasanur when the forest department attempted to remove stone idol at Pisil Mariamman temple that were opposed by the local people here on Tuesday.

The temple is located inside the forest area coming under the Hasanur Division of Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR) where special puja is being held on Mondays and people from nearby hamlets visit the temple. Forest personnel attempted to remove the idol. The tribals said that they were offering prayers at the temples for many generations and questioned the motive behind removing the idol.

Personnel told the people that they had received instructions to remove idols that were without buildings and placed in the open space. As people continue to oppose, K.V. Appala Naidu, District Forest Officer, Hasanur Division and Deputy Director, STR, and Hasanur Panchayat Union president Subramani arrived at the spot and held talks with the people. Officials said that people need to obtain permission from the forest department for visiting temples located inside the forest areas and added that idols kept in open places will be removed. Later, the idol was removed and taken to the forest office.

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