Labour Minister charged with locking temple and ‘abusing’ policemen.
Labour Minister charged with locking temple and ‘abusing’ policemenThe row over plans to celebrate Krishnashtami in Laxminarasimha temple here at Banjara Hills took a twist on Thursday when Minister for Labour Danam Nagender allegedly locked the temple gate and abused the policemen on duty there. A criminal case was registered against the Minister and his followers following a complaint lodged by the temple manager.The Sub-Inspector of Banjara Hills police station, B. Ramesh, too filed a separate complaint stating that the Minister had prevented him from discharging his duty, but no case was booked. “We entered the SI’s complaint in the police station’s general diary,” said Banjara Hills ACP E. Shankar Reddy.Controversy had been brewing over the plans of the Hare Krishna Movement-Hyderabad (HKM-H) to celebrate Krishnashtami in the temple with some residents from the surrounding NB Nagar differing with the idea. They staged a demonstration before the temple two days ago and allegedly tore some banners saying “why Krishnashtami should be celebrated in Laxminarasimha temple?”A criminal case was registered against them in this regard and the HKM-H went ahead with its plan to celebrate the festival by undertaking some decoration work. Around 9 a.m. on Thursday, a group of persons assembled at the temple and squatted on the road urging the HKM-H to disband the celebrations.Some time later, the Minister came there with his supporters and expressed his displeasure over the HKM-H “not obliging to the wishes of the local people”. “The Minister shouted at people inside the temple and directed an Assistant Sub-Inspector on security duty there to leave the place,” K. Suryanarayana Rao, temple manager, said in his complaint.Meanwhile, B. Ramesh who arrived there was allegedly threatened by Mr. Nagender that he would be stripped of his uniform. The Minister then locked the temple’s main gate leaving a woman devotee and two priests inside and left the place, the complainant charged.However, the Minister turned up at the temple again after an hour and tried to reason out his action. “What is the need for Krishnashtami festivities in a Laxminarasimha temple? Let the locals’ wishes prevail,” he said.The HKM-H clarified that in 2009, the Endowments department had allotted to it 4.3 acres through Government Order 359, for development. The department had recently issued evacuation notices to people who had allegedly erected houses in the area.The police invoked sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 342 (wrongful restraint), 353 (preventing public servant from discharging duties), 427 (mischief causing damage), 504 (intentionally insulting to breach peace) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code in the case.