The Public Works Department (PWD) of Tamil Nadu seeked demolition of over 90 houses and temples built on the Thanjavur-Nagai road leading to the Mariamman Temple on the Samudra Lake in Thanjavur, following a court order that to remove encroachments on water bodies.
The PWD had filed the case in 2017 and demolished 70 houses, temples. Now again in August they filed case seeking demolition of these properties claiming that they wanted to ‘occupy the lake’ by building temple around its banks.
Padmavathi, the wife of Ramamurthy Swamy, who managed the temple, filed a case in the Madurai High Court in 2018 seeking an injunction restraining the demolition of the Adimariamman temple. The judge hearing the case imposed an interim injunction to demolish the temple. He also ordered the public sector to respond.
The court ordered the demolition of the temple within 10 weeks of the public works department filing a statement against it in August. Accordingly, the demolition work of the temple started the day before yesterday.
Although 13 days notice was given to the temple authorities before demolition in order to relocate deities a massive scuffle took place between the people and authorities.
Hindu organizations and the people reached the temple to protest against the demolition of temple but following the heavy police deployment, the crowd was overpowered, and cases were filed against the protesters.
Murugan, the general secretary of the Hindu Front threatened not to demolish the temple, to give it a chance to appeal to the court, and to commit suicide if it was demolished. Following which he climbed up the stairs of the Temple tower shaped as a Shivalingam and jumped when the police forced. Although he was not much injured, the Tanjore taluka police arrested him for attempting suicide.
Many other villagers also joined his call and threatened the authorities, saying that they’ll commit suicide but no one listened and the temple was brought down.