On Friday, devotees at the famous Chamundeshwari Temple in Mysuru were in for a surprise as the priests and other employees at the temple suspended their activities in a protest against the state government.
The puja rituals stopped at the temple after the morning puja at 9:30 am and the large number of devotees who gathered at the temple had to content themselves with the darshan programme. The staff working at the temple, including the priests, stepped out to stand in protest against the state government.
"We are protesting against the state government for the implementation of a pay-scale at the temple. Currently, 96 employees at the temple are paid as per a pay-scale while 76 employees are being paid a consolidated amount of money," said KM Prasad, Executive Officer at the temple.
Prasad further added that the authorities of the temple have submitted a report to the Muzrai Department of the state government stating their demands. The demands not only include the implementation of a pay-scale but also asks for a pay rise and bonuses for the employees for the Dasara season.
Officials of the Muzrai Department met the temple authorities and held discussions over the demands. While Prasad maintained that there were no hassles for devotees at the temple, a large number of devotees who had gathered for the auspicious Friday puja had to leave after viewing the idol in the temple from the outside.
In addition to the Chamundeshwari temple, activities also came to a halt in various temples at the Mysuru Palace.
The staff at the temple were urged to resume their activities on Saturday. However, no decision has been taken as yet on their demands. "We will continue the strike until the state government accepts our demands. We are hopeful that they will be accepted today," said Prasad.