At a time when the country is polarised over issues of religion, a Kerala temple showed that one religion doesn't have to exist to hate another. The Shiva temple at Puthennada near Attingal in Thiruvananthapuram district stopped offering pujas for two days after a Muslim man, closely associated with the temple, got lynched by a mob.
23-year-old MV Shabeer was an executive member of the Puthennada temple committee which organised a Shiva festival every year. Last Sunday, he was beaten up by a mob over a dispute over letting an elephant run amok in the area. He later succumbed to his injuries.
The Indian Express reports, "On Monday and Tuesday, the Shiva temple’s office-bearers decided not to blow the conch or ring the bell as a mark of respect for Shabeer. The temple, which holds five pujas a day, did not offer them on those two days after the morning “darshan”.
N Unni, another member of the executive committee told the paper, "It was a friendship beyond religion, We never considered Shabeer as a Muslim in the temple committee."
"Shabeer was the most active member in our committee. This time, I had gone out only for a day to collect provisions from houses for the annadanam (offering of food). But Shabeer was out collecting rice and coconuts for a whole week,” he added.
Shabeer was witness in a case in which four youths had tormented an elephant by pricking his tail. The elephant nearly trampled people who were a part of the procession. Shabeer had even deposed to the police about the case.
The attack on him is being suspected as one done in revenge.
The report also states that Shabeer's mosque had no issues with him taking part in the temple's festivities.
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