Kerala govt to issue circular banning arms training at temples; BJP, RSS criticise move
The order will not target any organisation but reportedly the move comes in the wake of complaints that the RSS was holding drills at the temple premises
Thiruvananthapuram: Moving ahead with its resolve to check the activities of the Sangh Parivar outfits at the temples of the state, the CPI(M)-led LDF government in Kerala is all set to come out with a circular banning any type of arms-training drills at the shrine complexes.
The state Devaswom department has taken the initiative to issue the circular under relevant sections of the Kerala Police Act in the wake of complaints that the RSS was holding drills at the temple premises, office of the state Devaswom Minister, Kadakampally Surendran, said in Thiruvananthapuram.
The circular, which has got the Law department's nod, has been sent to the Home department for its consideration, sources said.
An order, banning any type of arms-training drills at the shrine complexes, would be issued after getting the consent of the Home department, they added. The order will not target any organisation. It will be a "general order" to put an end to any type of arms-training at the temple premises, sources said.
Meanwhile, state BJP president Kummanom Rajasekharan criticised the move and claimed that the RSS conducted its 'shakhas' as per law and after getting due permission and sanction from the authorities concerned. "The Devaswom Minister, who says that arms training should not be allowed at the shrine complexes, should also reveal the names of the shrines where such training drills have been held," he said.
"The objective of the move is to make temple complexes venues for the activities of CPI(M) workers. It is part of an attempt of the CPI(M) to silence all those who oppose the violent activities of the Communists," he alleged. "A law banning arms training is already in existence. We are not doing anything in violation of the temple traditions and customs," he claimed.
Rajasekharan alleged that three CPI(M) workers were killed in an explosion while making bombs inside a temple at Thalassery in 2000.
"Then, who is making temples storehouses of arms?" he asked.
In an 29 August Facebook post, the Devaswom Minister had alleged that the RSS was trying to turn temples into "storehouses of arms" in Kerala and the government had been receiving a large number of complaints in this regard.
He had also warned of stern action.
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