NGOs petition TN CM seeking appointment of EO for Chennai Temple

Chennai: Three NGOs have petitioned the Chief Minister’s Office, Deputy Chief Minister, CM Special Cell and other senior officials in the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) Department to appoint a new executive officer for Vadapalani Vengeeswarar Temple.

NGOs – Citizens Guardians (Ashok Nagar) , Kaanthal Kalam (Vadapalani) and People View Point (West Jafferkhanpet), in their petition (6 August), urged the government to appoint the officer in order to protect and save the ancient temple idols, properties, assets and fixed deposit worth crores from the present trust members.

The NGOs in the petition alleged that the then HR&CE Commissioner had asked his officials to appoint a new Executive Officer to take over the temple trust.

The government had dismissed the then hereditary trustees, Gowri Shankar and his son Prem Anand, but then Executive Joint Commissioner Paranjothi didn’t appoint a new Executive Officer for Vengeeswarar Temple. When the NGOs approached the CM’s Special Cell, they got a reply that HR&CE Commissioner recommended to appoint Vadapalani temple’s Joint Commissioner as Executive Officer for Vengeeswarar Temple. But the petitioners allege that it was not done.

They want the government to implement its orders and appoint a new officer for the temple. The petitioners also alleged that Chamundeeswari, wife of Prem Anand, declared herself hereditary trustee and took over the temple management.

The HR&CE, in its RTI reply, stated that no such appointment of Chamundeeswari was done. Speaking to News Today, Prem Anand said, “These are false accusations against me and my family. We are hereditary temple trustees. When the government removed me from the temple as trustee with false accusations, I challenged the government order which is pending in the Madras High Court. If tomorrow the government appoints a new Executive Officer by removing Chamundeeswari, we will appeal in court.”

Citizens Guardians founder V Ravichandran can be reached at 78713 33545.

NT Bureau