Jihadi move to create Troubles in Vellore

published on May 11, 2008

Vellore: Let communal amity prevail



Author: HARAN.B.R

the famous town in North Arcot District of Tamil Nadu, has been famous
for communal amity. The town carries a considerable section of Muslim
and Christian population apart from the majority Hindus who all
co-exist peacefully. The town has a historical importance, as it was a
happening place during Islamic and British rules notwithstanding the
Hindu Kings’ tenures before Islamic and British invasions. One of the most vibrant spots of the town is the famous ‘


Fort’, which witnessed the ‘Sepoy Mutiny’ in 1806. This fort was built
by the Reddy brothers (Bomma Reddy and Thimma Reddy), who were Nayakar
Chieftains under the great Krishnadeva Raya of Vijayanagaram, during
the 16th century.

The fort comprises

a Church and an Islamic structure apart from a few government offices
and a police training post. The fort is surrounded by a beautiful moat
(‘Agazhi’ in Tamil), which never dries due to the presence of a
perennial spring inside. 


Though the



was enhanced by a superior construction during Krishnadeva Raya’a
period, the Hindu religious scholars are of the opinion that the deity
is a ‘Swayambu Lingam’ belonging to “Dwapara Yuga”.

When Tippu Sultan invaded
during the 18th century, he captured the fort and desecrated the
but the Hindus were shrewd enough to save the Deities by removing them
beforehand. During his stay there, Tippu Sultan demolished the tower
(‘Vimaanaa’ in Tamil) of another ‘


‘ (Nagalamman)

and constructed tombs in its place and converted it into a temporary
prayer house for his soldiers. It was not a full-fledged Mosque and
after Tipu’s time it has never been used for conducting prayers. During
British period, a Church was also constructed inside and since then
prayers have been going on uninterruptedly. In the early twenties
(1921), the fort and the entire complex were taken over by the ASI.


The Muslims never used the Tipu’s make shift prayer house (desecrated



for their regular ‘Namaas’ and the Hindus could not conduct poojas in
the temple, as the deities were still not replaced. Later on, in the
early eighties (1981) after consistent and long drawn efforts, the
Hindus brought back the deities from the safe custodial place
(Sathuvachari near Vellore) and placed them in their respective places
and consecrated the temple with the help of the then District Collector
Gangappa and since then the prayers, poojas and festivities have become
a regular affair.


With the recent passage of a resolution in the


for allowing Muslims to conduct prayers inside the so-called prayer
house, the TMMK (Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam) had given a call
for the community to congregate at


to conduct a massive Friday Namas. The Hindu organizations like Hindu
Munnani and Hindu Makkal Kacthi have protested against this plan. The point to note here is that, the TMMK is an ally of the ruling DMK and the



in dominated by DMK and its allies.

The Hindu Makkal Katchi had declared that it would conduct a ‘Kaavikkodi Poraattam’ (Saffron Flag Demonstration) at the fort.
After seeing the resentment from the Hindu organizations, the Chief
Minister, while replying to the demand made by Congress MLA
Gnanasekaran in the State Assembly, who wanted the Muslims to be
permitted, had said that the state government could not do anything and
that only the center could decide as the fort is maintained by ASI.
Though the CM has the capacity to convince his trusted ally TMMK to
refrain from politicizing the issue, he keeps conspicuous silence after
passing the buck to the center. 


State Police acted with alacrity and arrested cadres belonging to both
TMMK and HMK as a preventive measure. An unprecedented security was
also arranged in and around the fort
with more than 2000 security personnel. Riot control vehicles,
ambulances and fire engines were deployed and most of the district
senior police officers were available on the spot. When thousands of
TMMK cadres from rest of Tamil Nadu congregated and when they tried to
get near the fort, the police prevented them. As they could not go near the fort, the TMMK cadres did ‘namas’ on the road from

12.30 pm
12.45 pm
and later dispersed.    



Arjun Sampath, President of Hindu Makkal Katchi had said, ‘the plan of TMMK is uncalled for and unwarranted. In
the early eighties, when the Hindus strived hard to restart worshipping
inside the Temple, the Muslims led by the late Abdul Samad have given
in writing that they do not intend to conduct prayers inside the
so-called Mosque, as they have a full fledged Mosque and a Dharga just
out side the fort close to the moat. .


has been an ancient one and prayers have to be temporarily suspended
due to the presence of Tippu’s army and after independence, we have
regained the worshipping rights through a long drawn battle. Also, the
Muslims have never used the prayer house as a place of worship. As the
local Jamaath leaders have come out against the TMMK in the interest of
communal amity, in appreciation of their welcome gesture, we also
wanted to withdraw our protest demo, but as TMMK was unrelenting, we
decided to stay put. It has become a habit for TMMK to play politics
and create problems for Hindus, with the connivance of the ruling


another leader of HMK had said, “The local Muslims co-exist with us
peacefully and they are not interested in conducting prayers inside the
prayer house, which could not be called as a real Mosque. They are
satisfied with the Mosque, which already exists outside the fort near the moat. There is another village vilaankulam near Arcot, where ASI maintains a Mosque and a



(Pandavar Gugai). Why TMMK is not showing any interests there? Why it always creates problems near


locales? We welcome, appreciate and thank the genuine stand of DMMK
(Dravida Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam) and the local Jamaath, who were
against the TMMK’.


Sources said that thirty percent of
population is Muslims and they hold most of the businesses and the
majority Hindus are their customers. Hence the local Muslims have been
living with the Hindus in absolute peace and they have never allowed
the extremist elements like Al Umma, TMMK and MNP to set up bases
there. It seems there is an internal fight between TMMK (DMK ally) and
Thowheed Jamath (inclined towards AIADMK) as to who represents the
majority of Muslims in the state. As the Thouheed Jamaath has been
organising a big event in Thanjavur, the TMMK had tried to utilize this


issue to counter it. But, the Communal amity and over all peace have
prevailed over the nefarious designs of TMMK, thanks to the DMMK and
local clerics. 

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