Kundapur, Jun 12: Kollur bandh, which was voluntarily called for in support of the demand to exhume the body of Swami Vimalananda, and shift the tomb built in his honour elsewhere, received a good response on Wednesday June 11.
Various organizations and people who gave this bandh call have been insisting that the body of Swami Vimalananda has been buried within the periphery of Goddess Mookambika Temple here, and a tomb was built there against established customs and contrary to religious beliefs by which this temple is bound.
The local entrepreneurs and businessmen had downed their shutters since morning, while auto rickshaws and other vehicles plying on hire remained parked, in support of the bandh call. Buses and private vehicles which came from outside moved as usual. The bus stand and neighbourhood of the temple bore a deserted look because of the bandh call, and devotees who reached the town without prior knowledge about the bandh call faced some inconvenience.
On Wednesday morning, hundreds of people from Kollur and nearby villages together approached Nityananda Ashram here and handed over a letter to the head of the hermitage, Jayanand, demanding shifting of the tomb which they claimed was built against established religious customs.
Jayanand told the people that a decision to bury the Swami’s body had been taken when he was alive, and that the Ashram will never agree to the proposal to exhume his body. He also expressed his firm resolve to resist all attempts to force the Ashram to shift the tomb from its current position.
Thousands of protesters gathered in front of the temple at 3 pm, and went in a procession through the main road of Kollur. They reached the local gram panchayat office, and handed a petition there, demanding for shifting of the Samadhi. The protesters then returned to Swarnamukhi dais of the temple and held public meeting, besides raising slogans for conserving ancient customs and shifting of the tomb.
Gram panchayat president, Laxmi Aithal, taluk panchayat member, Ramesh Ganiga, temple chief priests, Narsi Narasimha Adiga, Sridhar Adiga, N Govinda Adiga, Tantri Ramachandra Adiga, and advocates, N Srikant Adiga and Nagesh Sherugar were present.
Those who addressed the meeting reminded the people that Kollur temple is backed by thousands of years of history and called for not allowing the holy environment there to get vitiated by breaking customs. They said that demand for shifting of the tomb was supported for maintaining the sanctity of the place, and not for anyone’s prestige. They expressed their resolve to intensify the protest if the district administration and government do not take the initiative to shift the Swami’s tomb soon.