Madurai: The Meenakshi Amman Temple Devasthanam
will appoint 20 ex-servicemen to guard the area surrounding
sanctum sanctorum of the temple following complaints that
current arrangement of entrusting the responsibility to the
police had been found to be ineffective.
The ex-servicemen would be appointed in a phased manner and
would work on contract basis for about an year initially,
temple sources said.
Police will, however continue to be in-charge of security
of outer ring of the temple, the sourcees said.
There were complaints of high-handedness and instances of
dereliction of duty by police, the sources said.
Commissioner of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment
(HR&CE) P R Sampath had recently said the concept of Temple
Protection Force (TPF), comprising of constables and
ex-servicemen, did not work well to protect icons, jewels,
hundi collections and other valuables of temples.
The TPF had only 70 men who had to man the Meenakshi Amman
temple, Thriuparankundram temple, Kallazhagar temple and
Koodalazhagar temple, HR&CE sources here said.
The strength was inadequate to protect these temple
complexes, where hundi collections run into crores besides
having jewels, ornaments and priceless icons.
Meanwhile, the temple authorities evicted encroachments
from their about 2.20 acres of land at Ponmeni on Wednesday.