Goa lists centuries-old temples as illegal, attracts wrath
Panaji: The Goa government has declared some
of the centuries-old temples in the state as illegal in a
recent survey, attracting wrath from a Hindu organisation.
The government has listed 800 structures, including 350
temples, in a list of illegal religious structures built on
The list was prepared following a Supreme Court directive
which asked the state to submit a report on illegal religious
structures existing on government land.
However, the government's move has been criticised by a
"Even the temples, which are 500 years old, are listed as
illegal structure by state government," Hindu Janajagruti
Samiti's Goa unit spokesman Jayesh Thali told reporters.
While pointing out some of the temples were built well
before the very system of state governance came into
existence, Thali said that the state government should have
taken into confidence local temple committees before declaring
them as 'illegal'.
"The authorities should have known the time period in
which they were built and also their significance to local
population," he said.
Given that the government has listed even some mosques
and churches as illegal, he said that the organisation is not
averse to talk to Muslim or Catholic community to build up an
organised resistance to government's plans.
However, he also observed, "As far as churches and
mosques are concerned, they have their own organised set up in
place which will deal with the issue. Temple committees need
to unite now".
The HJS has now decided to organise a campaign to save
these temples from being bulldozed and has planned a massive
rally on April 22 here to make people aware about the
government's 'devil-plans' to target Hindu religious
Responding to a query, Thali said that HJS is open to the
idea of relocating temples but felt there are some temples
which cannot be relocated.