Erode Hindus Demand “Throw Out The CSI”; 700 Women Devotees Court Arrest
It is the 15 acres of land in the heart of Erode, a district headquarters in Tamilnadu, usurped by the Church of South India (CSI), that hit the headlines once again. It belongs to the ancient Periya Mariamman temple, according to the ‘Movement for Retrieving Periya Mariyamman Temple Land’ comprising devotees of a Kali temple centrally located in the bustling commercial town. The Movement organised a Pongal (cooking rice Prasad) programme in front of the temple on April 4 , 2013 to demand the government to throw out the illegal occupants of the temple land, the CSI in this case.
700 women devotees tried to perform the pongal program on the road in front of the temple and were arrested by the police. Thus the Hindus justified their demand for the temple land. The Movement is in fact a three year old struggle. (More than 3,000 women and members of the Movement took out a massive procession with lamps at Erode on February 15, 2013, urging the State government to initiate immediate efforts to retrieve the lands belonging to the temple from encroachers. A large number of women from different parts of the town gathered on the Eshwaran temple premises and lit the lamps before carrying them in a procession, which culminated on the Periya Mariamman temple premises. A unique Bandh that was total and without any untoward incidents was held on May 28, 2010 at Erode by the Movement pressing the same demand).