Moorthi was brutally murdered in broad daylight on 27 February 2010, which also happened to be the Prophet’s birthday, Milad un Nabi. Moorthi was murdered inside the temple complex itself. The documentary shows a person named Ponnan, who says, “Saying that it was an offering on the occasion of Milad un Nabi”, the killers “slashed Moorthi’s neck and poured sand into it”. – Thamizhchelvan
After presenting the true story of the murder of four brothers who fought for the protection of temple land, the Hindu Munnani’s documentary presents the gruesome murder of a temple manager who fought against the attempt to convert the samadhi of a sant into a dargah.
The samadhi of a sant, Sarveswara Baba, is situated in Kruthalapuram village adjacent to a place called Sholavaram in Thiruvallur district. The Sarveswara Baba Samadhi was also known as Sarveswara Temple. A local person, Moorthi, was managing the affairs of the temple-cum-samadhi.
Muslim fundamentalists have a considerable presence in the village. When they conspired to convert the Sarveswara Baba Samadhi into Shah-in-Shah dargah, Moorthi opposed it vehemently and filed a case in the local court against the attempt. The fundamentalist elements were also reportedly active in illegal activities. As the case was poised against them and the judgment in favour of Hindus was expected anytime, the fundamentalists decided to eliminate Moorthi.
Subsequently, Moorthi was brutally murdered in broad daylight on 27 February 2010, which also happened to be the Prophet’s birthday, Milad un Nabi. Moorthi was murdered inside the temple complex itself. The documentary shows a person named Ponnan, who says, “Saying that it was an offering on the occasion of Milad un Nabi”, the killers “slashed Moorthi’s neck and poured sand into it”.
As the area is a stronghold of fundamentalist elements, Member of Parliament J. M. Haroon of the Congress party, conspired to help the infiltration of Muslims into the temple by constituting a committee comprising both Hindus and Muslims for administering the Baba Temple. His brother forcibly obtained the signatures of Hindus who were opposed to it.
Describing this scheming act of the MP and his brother, Ponnan says, “J. M. Haroon prepared a deed in which there were 10 persons each from the Moslem side and the Hindu side. When the Hindus refused to sign on the dotted line, they beat us to sign. It was his brother Amanullah who unleashed violence upon us. Some of us had to give in”.
After the formation of the committee, Muslims entered the administration and started creating trouble for the Hindus. They went to the extent of stopping Hindus from worshipping. Ponnan says, “When we visited the temple, they said that flowers should not be brought inside for offering and chased all of us out of the temple”.
Consequently a peace committee meeting was organised in which it was decided that the samadhi belonged to the Hindus. However, before the decision was made, an attempt was made to purchase a few Hindus by offering money.
The documentary shows Ponnan saying that he too was bribed. He says, “A peace committee meeting was organized and J. M. Haroon came to attend it. Hindus belonging to the village too participated in this. It was concluded in the peace committee meeting that the place belonged to the Hindus and hence it had to be handed over to them. At that time, Haroon placed his hand upon my shoulder and took me aside. He then stuffed a bundle of currency in my pocket, which I exhibited to the Hindus. I showed the currency to Hindus and announced in public that Haroon was attempting to buy me”.
The jihadis murdered Moorthi just 15 days before the verdict was to be delivered by the Thiruvallur court. Had the judgment come, Muslims would have had to vacate the property and the temple would have been in the control of Hindus.
Ponnan says, “Moorthi was murdered just 15 days before the judgement was to be delivered. If the judgement had been delivered they would not have been able to enter the premises and hence they did away with him. That was an important reason to murder Moorthi”.
After the murder of Moorthi, the authorities sealed the Samadhi Temple and the case is still pending in court.
Meanwhile, someone broke open the seal and entered the temple. Although he was caught by the police, they let him go on the pretext that he was mentally deranged. Ponnan says, “Someone broke open the seal and looted all the money. Police caught a Moslem boy. Someone told that he was a mentally deranged person and based on that the police let him off”.
In course of time, further encroachments have taken place upon this land due to occupation and illegal encroachment. The samadhi of a Hindu Baba is in the danger of being usurped by non-Hindus.
The documentary says that the fundamentalist outfit Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam (TMMK) has entered the premises to facilitate the annexation of this area by their community.
Are Hindus destined to lose their beloved Baba’s samadhi? Will Moorthi’s sacrifice go in vain?
(To be continued…)
» Thamizhchelvan is an independent senior journalist in Chennai.
The visual documentation of the above article can be viewed and downloaded from the video below (English) from 13.25 mts to 17.52 mts.