Kumbakonam: People of four villages around Agneeswaraswamy temple at nearby Kanjanur, managed by Madurai Adheenam, staged a fast here on Saturday demanding removal of Nithyananda as its head and also that the state government take over the temple.

They said appointment of Nithyananda was not acceptable as he has been charged in a rape case and so he should be removed immediately.

Madurai Adheenam had appointed Nithyanandha as junior Adheenam.

The agitators demanded that the state government take over the temple as its management has not provided any facilities for devotees but were just intent on taking their offerings. If no action was taken, more agitations would follow, they said.

The appointment of Nithyananda as head of the 1,500-year old Madurai Adheenam has triggered protests from several quarters, including heads of different mutts in the state, in view of pending criminal charges, including rape, against him.

The villagers had recently shown black flags to the adheenam Arunagirinatha Gnanasambanda Desika Paramacharya and Nityananda during their visit to the temple in protest against the godman's appointment and later formed a protest committee.

The fast on Saturday was led by members of the committee.


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