Hyderabad, April 27 (IANS) — Taking a strong note of evangelical activities around the famous hill shrine, the state cabinet decided to promulgate the ordinance.
In an attempt to balance the move, the government brought certain places of worship of other religions under the ordinance.
Anybody found violating the provisions of the ordinance will be sentenced to three years’ imprisonment or imposed a fine of Rs.5,000 or both.
The decision to promulgate the ordinance was taken at the state cabinet, which met here a day after 17 new ministers were inducted by Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy.
Minister for Information Anam Ramnarayan Reddy told newsmen that list of places of worship to be covered and their jurisdiction would be notified under the ordinance. The state has 24 major temples including Tirumala temple.
He said the moved was aimed at ensuring that the sentiments of any religious group was not hurt and public order at such places of worship was not disturbed.
He said the cabinet took strong note of propagation of other religions on Tirumala Hills. He reiterated that the purview of the ancient temple covers all seven hills and not two hills as being claimed by some vested interests. He said all the seven hills within a radius of 332 square km come under the purview of the temple of Lord Venkateswara.
There have been demands from various Hindu groups in recent months to ban propagation of other religions on Tirumala hills. There were also protests over conversion attempts by some Christian missionaries around the famous shrine.
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