news Thursday, March 05, 2015 - 05:30
Anisha Sheth | The News Minute | March 6, 2015 | 9 am IST Follow @anisha_w Instead of money, a man in a Karnataka town has deposited a prayer in the “hundi” – the donation box – asking for justice in what appears to be a case of a desperate man becoming a victim of the system. When the authorities at the government-run Category A Sri Kanteshwara Temple in Nanjangud in Mysuru district opened the donation boxes – a routine monthly affair – they expected the usual bunch of letters addressed to the presiding deity, Nanjundeshwara (Shiva). The chairman of the Managing Committee of the temple Mohan K S says that three months ago they had begun to maintain a register of such letters. On March 4, one of the letters came with a passport-sized photograph of a mustached man asking the presiding deity to punish a member of the urban local body and ensure that he gets a house. The man did not leave his name in the typed and printed letter. The man alleges in his letter that a particular member (name withheld) of the Nanjangud Town Panchayat and affiliated to one of the national parties had sought bribes to recommend names for the allotment of government housing under the Integrated Housing and Slum Development Programme in the taluk.  The letter says that the elected representative was demanding between Rs 30,000 and Rs 40,000 as a bribe in order to recommend someone’s name as a beneficiary under the scheme. When questioned, the town panchayat member reportedly says that he can do what he wants as the colony “belongs to him”. Temple authorities say that they also receive currency notes like these, with prayers scribbled to the gods. Another letter, written by H Venkatesh of Nagamangala in Mandya district is addressed to the Secretary of the temple. He claims that he was assaulted by a particular man (name withheld) in September 1992, resulting in a head injury. The complaint was apparently registered with the police in Hassan district. The man claims that investigations and inquiries were conducted over the years, but no action was taken.  He says that he has “swallowed his pain” and is now “living in dejection” at having been denied justice. He also claims that to this day, he suffers from dizziness, and is afflicted with pain in the eyes and ears and adds towards the end: “I have written the above truthfully… god, I beg you with folded hands, at least you must give me justice.” These facts could not be verified independently at the time of writing.  Deputy Commissioner of Mysuru district C Shikha told The News Minute that no complaint about irregularities had been brought to her attention, adding that an investigation would be initiated if there was a complaint.  The man who wrote the letter unsigned, alleging irregularities in housing allotment finishes his letter promising to offer coconuts to Nanjundeshwara if the deity granted his wish and ensured justice. He wrote: “Therefore, I beseech you to ensure that houses are allotted lawfully… God, if you give this evil man appropriate punishment, we will offer 101 coconuts to you.” Tweet Follow @thenewsminute

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