HomeAmericasCommunityFather Sues Temple For $1 Million For ‘Branding’ His Son

Father Sues Temple For $1 Million For ‘Branding’ His Son

Father Sues Temple For $1 Million For ‘Branding’ His Son

Father Sues Temple For $1 Million For ‘Branding’ His Son

Photo: Vijay Cheruvu on right, seen with his attorney at the press conference.

India-West News Desk

SUGAR LAND, TX – Vijay Cheruvu is suing a temple for $ 1 million after his 11-year-old son allegedly underwent a distressing branding experience during a religious ritual.

The incident occurred on August 3 at the Sri Ashtalakshmi Temple here, the father’s attorney, Brant Stogner said at a press conference. The father, who shares custody of the boy, referred to as TC in the lawsuit, expressed deep concern for his son’s well-being, stating that the boy is profoundly affected and has sought therapy following the ordeal. TC’s mother, Supriya Raman Sripada, had custody of him at the time of the alleged incident.

Stogner explained that approximately 100 individuals, including TC and two other children, participated in the ceremony, during which participants were reportedly branded with a hot iron. TC is said to have sustained scars and developed an infection as a result of the ritual.

The lawsuit, filed in Fort Bend County District Court, seeks $1 million in damages and names the temple and its parent company, Jet USA, as defendants. Despite being Hindu, Cheruvu stated that neither he nor anyone he knows participates in such rituals.

TC, who reportedly had no prior knowledge of the ceremony’s nature, has been deeply traumatized by the experience. Cheruvu recounted how his son initially kept the incident hidden but eventually confided in him, prompting the father to take action to protect his child. Stogner pointed out that in Texas, it is illegal for children to consent to be branded or tattooed, regardless of their awareness of the procedure.

Reporting that the mother had earlier been charged with child abuse by authorities, although the case was later dropped, Law and Crime said a representative from the temple described the ceremony as a “ritual” but declined to provide further comment. 

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  • When I first heard “branding” I did not know what it is. I left it at that. When I read the news item here, I felt this was all misunderstanding. As a boy, I had undergone this in my small village (Bantwal, near Mangaluru). I do not even recall if my parents were even aware that I took the trouble of following this ritual. I must have done this because several youths in my town were also undergoing this and I thought it is some thing I should do. Yes, it was painful. And I had no idea at that time why such a ritual was practiced. Even later I did not know. Only after this incident, my relative explained to me that the ritual might have been started by Ramanujacharya in 12th century to promote equality by making youths of all varnas to undergo this. More than likely there may be even more explanation. Most of the time, we do not take the trouble of finding out about the rituals and claim that it is irrational. Hopefully we will soon learn the rationale for such a painful ritual. In this case I do not understand the rationals for filing the case against the temple, when no one had forced any one to take it. Boy’s mother was the one who asked the boy to undergo this ritual and she has been exonerated.

    April 8, 2024
    • What?
      Heard of Muslims clipping theirs to shorten them. But branding as a part of Hindus. That is new!

      April 8, 2024
  • This happened in US, so the temple people know they will be caught if they do it to children?? Arrest the parents – they should know this is so wrong

    April 9, 2024
  • Both the parents of the kid should also be branded. Afterall the branded items are coveted by rich people, So why not they brand themselves and promote themselves on Social Media.

    April 25, 2024

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