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Trust takes over Raghunath Temple

A trust, formed by the district administration, today took over the management of Raghunath Temple. Members of the trust also discussed the coming Dasehra festival, security of the temple and other development issues here.

The move came after the High Court, on Thursday, rejected the petition filed by Maheshwar Singh, scion of the erstwhile royal family who is also the ‘chharibardar’ (chief caretaker) of Lord Raghunath, for taking over the management of Raghunath Temple at Sultanpur in Kullu. The state government had issued a notification regarding takeover of the temple on July 25, 2016. The then Kullu DC had given a one-week notice to Maheshwar Singh and his son Danvender, who is also the temple ‘kardar’, on July 27 to hand over all temple property to the authorities.

However, Maheshwar, who is also a local MLA, moved the High Court against the takeover of the temple, claiming it to be his private property.Many residents had also opposed the takeover move. Some had opined that the safety and security of the temple would improve after its takeover by the government.In its earlier order, the court had restrained the state from taking any action on the notification issued by it for taking over the management of Raghunath Temple.

Apart from this, the court had also stayed the operation and execution of the notice issued by the Kullu Deputy Commissioner.Rakesh Sharma, Kullu ADC and Commissioner of the Raghunath Temple Trust, said the trust had been formed in September last year and routine meetings of the members were being held since then. He said the decision related to the assets of the temple would be taken after Dasehra. He further said religious ceremonies of the temple would be held as earlier and the trust would only take care of the management of the temple affairs.

The ADC said all members opined that the ancient rituals would be upheld by the trust during Dasehra. He said various security measures for the temple were also discussed. Funds would be sought from the International Dasehra Festival Committee for the trust, he maintained. Maheshwar Singh said there was no takeover of the temple and only a meeting of the temple trust was held, which was related to preparations for the upcoming week-long Kullu Dasehra. He said he would seek legal remedy after the recent orders of the High Court on August 31.


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