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Minister: religious leaders blackmailing Government

Staff Reporter

Steps to be taken to end corruption in TDB


  • Says criminal plots on the rise in Devaswoms
  • 'No' to interfere with religious customs, rites

    Thrissur: Leaders of various communities and religious bodies are trying to blackmail the Government, Devaswom Minister G. Sudhakaran has said.

    Addressing a meeting in Guruvayur on Tuesday to hand over the land acquired by the Government to the Guruvayur Devaswom, Mr. Sudhakaran said those who tried to blackmail the Government now had attempted the same earlier too and failed.

    The Minister alleged that instances of criminal conspiracy were on the rise in the Devaswoms.

    He said the Government would not interfere with religious customs and temple rites, but it intended to initiate comprehensive change in Devaswom rules.

    Mr. Sudhakaran said the Government would expedite the constitution of the Malabar Devaswom Board.

    The Government acquired 2.10 acres of land for developing the Guruvayur temple and improving facilities for pilgrims.

    Revenue Minister K.P. Rajendran handed over the documents to the Minister.

    Rejoinder

    Special Correspondent adds from Thiruvananthapuram:

    The Office of the Devaswom Minister has said in a press note that the Government would take steps to end corruption in the Travancore Devaswom Board.

    In a rejoinder to criticisms raised by NSS general secretary P.K. Narayana Panicker against Devaswom Minister G. Sudhakaran, the office said Mr. Panicker raised the criticisms without understanding the issues well.

    Three cases were referred to the Crime Branch at the initiative of the Minister. The note said the NSS had not reacted to the failure of the previous Government to act on its demand for Vigilance inquiry into the alleged corruption in the board.

    The note said the Government was aware that some vested interests were working against the Government move to change the devaswom laws with a view to end corruption and nepotism. Now, the Government did not have powers to check corruption in the board. The Government hoped that the NSS would support its move to improve the functioning of the devaswom.

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