Tension at TN temple, crowd lathicharged

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Cuddalore, Mar 2 (UNI) Police resorted to lathicharge to disperse an unruly crowd at the Chidambaram Nataraja Temple in this district of Tamil Nadu, following a clash between temple priests and security personnel.

According to the police, Tamil scholar Sivanadiyar Arumughasamy, who had organised a series of agitations to allow singing of Tamil hymns at the temple, obtained a court order permitting him to recite 'Thevaram' and 'Thiruvasagam' in the temple.

When he reached the temple today, the 'Dikshitars' (heriditory priests), prevented him from entering. Police accompanied him and helped him to entre the temple, stating that it was a court order.

The temple administrators were outraged over the police' entry into the sanctum sanctorum in full uniform, which went against the tradition.

The special police team, however, removed their shirts and insisted that the scholar be allowed to recite prayers as per the court orders.

This led to an altercation between the police and the Dikshitars.

In the melee, Superintendent of Police Pradeep Kumar and Assistant Superintendent of Police Senthil Kumar were shoved away, allegedly by the Dikshitars.

Meanwhile, Mr Arumughasamy accompanied by volunteers of Tamil organisations and People's Right Protection Committee visited the temple again in the evening.

The mob, allegedly supporters of Mr Arumughasamy, threw stones at police. They complained that police had failed to provide adequate security to the scholar.

Police resorted to a lathicharge to disperse the unruly crowd.

Police pickets were posted in the area.

UNI TEAM JJ SK RAI2007

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