Presence of tainted priest’s son on temple panel creates row | Deccan Chronicle
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Presence of tainted priest’s son on temple panel creates row

DC | S.V. Krishna Chaitanya | 16th Jul 2013

Mysore: The ancient Sri Cheluvanarayana Swamy temple at Melkote is back in the news—this time for inaction on the part of members of the temple committee and the district administration over the presence of Rama Priya, son of tainted High Priest Narasaraja Bhat, inside the sanctum sanctorum.

Srinivasan, a local priest and petitioner in Narasaraja Bhat’ case, told DC that it was more than a month since members of the temple committee suspended Narasaraja Bhat and his brother Varadaraja Bhat. 

“Initially, Varadaraja Bhat was allowed to perform pooja for three days, but he continues to do so even now. Besides, Narasaraja Bhat’s son Rama Priya has been serving as co-priest in the temple, which is illegal and objectionable.

Already, the sanctity and reputation of the historic temple has taken a beating with a series of cases of misappropriation. We want the state government to intervene immediately and take action. Both Varadaraja Bhat and Rama Priya should be removed and replaced by senior priests with a clean image”, he added.

On June 11, the temple committee recommended a probe by a government agency like the CID into allegations of misappropriation in Melkote, but no action has been initiated so far. Assistant Commissioner, R. Latha, who conducted an inquiry at the behest the then deputy commissioner Maheshwar Rao, held Narasaraja Bhat guilty of misappropriating gold ornaments worth several lakhs of rupees. 

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