Mangaluru, March 17, 2016 : State government on March 16, Wednesday made its stand clear on the controversy over Dakshina Kannada district Deputy Commissioner Adoor.B. Ibrahim’s name on an invitation card of a temple function. It not only defended the official but categorically stated that there was “nothing wrong” in his name being on the invite.
“The DC has done nothing wrong. He acted in his capacity as the DK DC, and as per the Muzrai Department’s rules,” Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T. B. Jayachandra said.
Earlier, right-wing groups demanded the removal of DC Ibrahim’s name from the invitation card for a State government-administered temple function because he is a Muslim. Congress Puttur MLA Shakuntala Shetty had then said she would “consider removing the name of the officer”. However, on Mar 16, Wednesday, MLA Shetty retracted her statement under criticism from several party colleagues, and said she has no problem with the invitation. She also denied calling a meeting of devotees to discuss the issue. MLA Shetty, however, said the temple administration should resolve the issue. “If it fails to do so, I will get invitations printed in my personal capacity.” the MLA who was earlier with the Bharatiya Janata Party, maintained she was trying to ensure the peaceful conduct of the festival.
Activists of the VHP in Puttur have decided to hold a protest near the Mahalingeshwara Temple mar 17, today demanding the printing of new invitation cards for the 10-day-long temple festival, omitting DC Ibrahim’s name.
They held a meeting outside the temple yesterday and insisted that the temple administration remove the DC’s name. They have also threatened to intensify protests.
In this backdrop, Assistant Commissioner K.V. Rajendra chaired a coordination meeting of officials to discuss security and other arrangements for the annual festival that draws people from different parts of the State. “The invitation is printed as per protocol. There is no question of printing new invitations, unless directed by senior officials,” AC Rajendra reiterated
Speaking media DK DC Ibrahim said one should remember that various religious festivities in the region are conducted in harmony by people of different faiths, and cited the examples of Bappa Beary associated with Mulki Durgaparameshwari Temple, Udyavara Manjeshwara Temple and Ali Chamundi Temple in Kumble. He said he has no hesitation in receiving the ‘prasadam’ at the Mahalingeshwara Temple.