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Mangaluru: A Muslim officer’s name being on the invitation to an event conducted by the Puttur Sri Mahalingeshwar Temple in Mangaluru has stirred up controversy. According to Deccan Chronicle’s report, the Sangh Parivar objected to Deputy Commissioner AB Ibrahim’s name being on the invite and showing him as one of the hosts of the temple event.
The Sangh Parivar said that printing his name on the invitation goes against the Endowment Act, the report states. The Parivar has been quoted as saying that they do not want a Muslim to invite devotees to the temple. “This is a clear violation of the Endowment Act which says a non-Hindu cannot be involved in the temple’s affairs,” VHP leader and advocate Jagadish Shenava told the daily. He added that the DC could be a guest, but not a host.
Meanwhile, Congress MLA Shakunthala Shetty has asked officials to settle the issue and warned that she will print new invitation cards without the officer’s name otherwise. Shetty told the daily that she would not give in to pressure from saffron outfits but that she did want confusion during the celebrations. She reportedly said, “I have asked officials to get a new invitation card printed. If they don’t, I will myself have the new cards printed without mentioning the Deputy Commissioner’s name.”
The daily quoted another Sangh leader as saying that Ibrahim was neither the Executive Officer nor the administrator of the temple. So he could be a guest but not a host.
Deccan Chronicle got in touch with Deputy Commissioner AB Ibrahim but he did not comment except for saying that mentioning his name in the temple invite was not a violation of any law.