Devotees complain thugs exhort money in Munneswaram Kovil sacred area

munneswaram   During the 1988 Gam Udawa in Anamaduwa, then President, R. Premadasa,  declared the Munneswaram kovil sacred area and developed it by adding temples for Hindu Gods and goddesses Shiva, Ganesh, and Kali, patronized by the devotees from all over the country.

The temple trustees complain that a gang of thugs are operating inside the sacred area, exhorting money from the devotees.

There are designated vehicle parking areas inside the sacred area, but these gangs charge money for parking and for pooja trays amounts ranging between Rs 2,000 and 5,000 claiming that they are from the temple. The devotees are forced to buy the trays of flowers from gang members. Recently some devotees who were forced to buy their pooja trays had to seek police intervention.

With the government prohibition on animal sacrifices, devotees being not allowed to do so are forced by the gangs, to release the animals in front of the temples. Thereafter, they collect the animals released and re sell them to other devotees.

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