TN BJP Spokesperson SG Suryah has written to Sonia Gandhi and TN Cong President AS Alagiri over the encroachment of land belonging to Kasi Viswanathar Temple and Sri Venugopalaswamy Temple by TN Congress leader
Encroachment of Hindu temple land in Tamil Nadu is not a new phenomenon but the recent revelations have been unsettling. Businessmen, politicians, real estate companies have all encroached upon lands belonging to Hindu temples in the state. Now it has been revealed that the well-known Queensland Amusement Park on the outskirts of Chennai is constructed on the land belonging to the Kasi Viswanathar Temple and Sri Venugopalaswamy Temple which has been encroached upon by Congress leader Amirtharaj Selvaraj and his family.
It has now been revealed that 177.7 acres of land belonging to Kasi Viswanathar Temple and Sri Venugopalaswamy temple of Pappanchatram was taken on lease by Oorvasi Selvaraj, Amirtharaj Selvaraj's father, in 1991 when he was the Vice President of South Chennai District of Indian National Congress, on the pretext of carrying out farming activities. However, his family violated the agreement by constructing the Queensland Amusement Park on that very land.
Sadly, while the Congress politician and his family rake in the moolah through their business activities on the temple lands, the temple themselves suffered as the rent he had promised in the lease agreement was also not remitted to these temples all these years.
Both the temples are in pathetic condition today and have almost been reduced to ruins with not even a compound wall or any semblance of maintenance in their premises. The temples do not even have proper lighting inside and are crumbling with no source of income. The temple priests too are dependent on the meagre salary they get from the TN HR&CE department. This is the condition of the temples while Congress leader's businesses on its own land earn them crores.
Request to Sonia Gandhi to intervene
Lawyer and TN BJP Spokesperson SG Suryah has now written to Cong President Sonia Gandhi and President of Tamil Nadu Congress KS Alagiri over the matter and has urged her to intervene and ask the Cong leaders family to vacate the temple land. Organiser is in possession of a copy of the letter.
Suryah in his letter provides the details of the encroachment and the dishonoring the lease agreement by the late Congress leader and his family. The letter states that the current administration of Queensland theme park is now under Selvaraj’s son Amirtharaj who also functions as the General Secretary of Tamil Nadu Youth Congress. Late Selvaraj’s wife Nalini Selvaraj is also part of the theme park’s administration, says Suryah's letter.
Incidentally, Nalini Selvaraj is a prominent Christian evangelist and runs a missionary organisation called End Time Revival Ministries. She also is the Chairperson of the family run King’s Engineering College which was founded by Oorvasi Selvaraj.
Suryah's letter mentions that in 2008, the local court had ruled to a petition filed by the temple administration that the lessee had violated the lease agreement by indulging in commercial activities. Despite an appeal against the court order being dismissed in 2013, the amusement park that sits on temple land continues to function in all its glory while the temple and the lives dependent on it have been left in lurch, says the letter.
The letter further reveals that the Queensland Amusement Park is located on 177.7 acres of land that was originally 1500 acres bought by a Zamindar named Venkaiah in the 19th century. Venkaiah had originally donated nearly 1000 acres of land but over the years much of that was taken by the government as 'squatter land' with only 177.7 acres remaining. But, even this parcel of the temple land was encroached and Amusement Park built by Congress leader Selvaraj and family, writes Suryah in his letter.
As the temples starved of funds crumble with no maintenance, no lighting or any facilities, the temple priests too survive on a meagre salary provided by the Tamil Nadu HR&CE department. This is the state of the Hindu temples whose lands have been encroached for business activities which continue to flourish, writes Suryah.
Condemning this as 'gross act of encroachment of temple lands and the scant regard for courts shown by your party leaders in the strongest terms', Suryah urges Sonia Gandhi look into this matter and advise her party leader and family to vacate the encroachment as per the Court orders.