After HC relief, Madkaikars keep 24-hr vigil at Navdurga temple

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 24 February 2016 18:29 IST

Keeping strict vigil fearing attempts to replace the idol of Goddess Navdurga, Madkai villagers have been camping in the temple in shifts since yesterday.

Hundreds of villagers rushed to the temple yesterday as soon as the news broke out that the high court had granted interim relief, allowing temple committee to replace the idol.

The district court based in Ponda had on 20 February passed an order of maintaining status quo, due to which the temple committee had to put on hold its 12-day programme beginning from 22 February, to replace the idol.

The villagers, under the banner of Shri Navdurga Pratishthan, have been vehemently opposing the move of the Mahajans to replace the idol, which is in deteriorated condition.

Pratishthan argues that the idol can be restored with chemical treatment and will not allow replacing it while the temple committee is bent upon replacing it.

While the Pratishthan had managed to stay the idol replacing ceremony through the district court, the Navdurga temple committee yesterday sought an ex-parte interim relief order from the high court, staying the lower court order, till the matter is heard.

Accordingly, the high court said notices would be issued to the Pratishthan members and respective government authorities, to be replied by 25 February.

The high court has also fixed the hearing tomorrow morning to decide on the temple committee’s prayer of staying the district court order.

The temple committee however could not go ahead with the ceremony since the scheduled programme had to be postponed while fresh dates should be decided in consultation with the Gokarn Partagal Mathadhish Swami.

“People are not prepared to trust anybody at this stage, thus they are keeping day and night vigil by camping in the temple”, said Shailendra Panajikar, president of the Pratishthan.

He had yesterday told a section of the media that the one-liner sms news of Digital Goa and Internet news of in this regard were false.

When asked why the people are guarding the temple if the news is false, Panajikar said he did not have correct information at that moment since he was in Kolhapur while people were in agitated mood in the village.

“We have now confirmed the news also through our lawyer and have been guarding our idol from any attempt of being replaced”, he told

Meanwhile, Panajikar said neither he nor his other Pratishthan members had received the court notices till 5.30 pm today.

They are supposed to file their replies by tomorrow morning. is now on Telegram & also Youtube. Kindly subscribe for free & remain updated.

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