Members of a Hindu outfit staged a demonstration in front of the Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai on Sunday (August 4), alleging that the name board above the statue of Maruthu Pandiyar — 18th century chieftains of Sivaganga — inside the temple was removed.
The protesters raised slogans condemning the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) Department for allegedly removing the name board. They were later arrested for protesting without prior permission.
V Veera Murugan, coordinator of the Marudhu Thiruvar Makkal Kazhagam, claimed that people in Madurai used to identify the Marudhu Pandiyar statue with the help of name board until 2010. “However, after that, since no one used to notice it, the HR&CE officials have removed the name board,” he said.
Tamil Nadu: Members of Marudhu Thiruvar Makkal Kazagham protested at Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai today over the statue of Marudhu Pandiyar which is allegedly missing from the temple. The protesters have been detained by the police. pic.twitter.com/werQGYIgSj
— ANI (@ANI) August 4, 2019
Recently, the outfit had filed an RTI query seeking the details of the Maruthu Pandiyar statue and the historical links between Maruthu Pandiyar and Madurai Adhenam.
In the RTI reply, HR&CE officials in the temple replied that they have no records regarding Maruthu Pandiyar, and their links with Madurai Adhenam, a centuries-old Saivite institution.
When asked about it, HR&CE officials said that they do not have any historical evidence that the statue was of Marudhu Pandiyar.
The outfit’s members have further petitioned the HR&CE officials and the police department to take action in this regard.