An order has been issued by the Madhya Pradesh government’s Department of Culture to remove non-Hindu employees associated with the Maa Sharda Temple in Maihar, Satna district. In addition to this, all meat and liquor stores located near the temple area would also be shut down.
Pushpa Kulesh, Deputy Secretary, Religious Trust and Endowment Department of Madhya Pradesh, has addressed this letter to the District Magistrate. In this, the directive of Tourism Minister Usha Thakur has been cited. The District Magistrate has also been instructed to submit the report in three days after taking the necessary action.
The management committee has been urged in this letter dated April 5, 2023, to order the expulsion of Muslim employees in addition to the removal of meat and liquor stores from the city. The District Magistrate acknowledged receiving the letter and assured that after an inquiry, further action will be taken.
The management committee of the temple employs three Muslims. These workers have been employed since 1988. Abid Hussain is one of the staff members, and he works as a legal advisor. Ayub Khan, who has been assigned the charge of managing the water system, is the other employee there. There is another Muslim worker named Yusuf Khan employed there.
Even Abid Hussain, who handles court matters and transportation arrangements, has been accused to not doing his job properly. People claim that the temple management committee has not been successful in winning any cases to date.
The letter from the government has been received, according to Maihar’s SDM and the administrator of the Maa Sharda Management Committee, Dharmendra Mishra. The temple management committee meeting will be called upon in this regard.
Notably, on January 17, 2023, a memorandum was handed over to Minister Usha Thakur on behalf of the Satna district’s Hindu organization. The closing of meat and liquor stores in the locality was demanded in this, coupled with the removal of Muslim workers from the Maa Sharda Management Committee. Minister Usha Thakur had sought answers from the departmental officers concerning this.
While the Hindu organizations are claiming it as a victory, a controversy has erupted because there is no provision in the rules of the Maa Sharda Devi Temple Management Committee to make religion a criterion for hiring employees.