A seven-hour protest in front of the Hyderabad collectorate in Abids on Wednesday won a temporary reprieve for the authorities of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (Iskcon), Secunderabad, temple. They have got an assurance from Hyderabad collector Navin Mittal that the district administration would not touch the temple land "till the issue is settled".
Nearly 300 devotees thronged the collectorate and staged a dharna protesting acquisition of Iskcon temple land for road-widening.
Hundreds of vehicles were up caught in a traffic jam after the devotees blocked both sides of the Nampally road. They sat on the road and chanted `Hare Krishna, Hare Ram'. There were some tense moments when the petitioners and the devotees had a verbal duel at the collectorate.
Meanwhile, BJP State unit president Bandaru Dattatreya, BJP floor leader in the assembly, G Kishan Reddy, and others joined the protest.
Police tried to disperse the mob, but the temple authorities refused to budge. They said the protest would be withdrawn if the collector invited them for talks. As the collector went to attend an official programme, they waited for him. Finally, at around 2.30 pm, Navin Mittal came and invited them for talks.
"The collector gave an assurance that the temple's land will be not be touched until the issue is settled. The issue has been delinked from other land acquisitions in the area," Iskcon national member Satya Gopi Das told the media.
The collector said, "We have de-linked the Iskcon land issue as it is a sensitive one. Our intention is not to hurt the religious sentiments. The notices have been issued under Section 4 (1) (2) of the Land Acquisition Act, which a preliminary one. The final notices will be served after completion of an inquiry scheduled for December 12," Mittal added.
Source: Times of India