46 held in connection with violence at Chidambaram Temple

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Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, Mar 3 (UNI) Amid mounting tension, 46 people, including 12 Dikshidars of the ancient Lord Nataraja Temple were arrested here today in connection with yesterday's violent incidents in the temple.

Police sources told UNI that cases were registered against the Dikshidars on a complaint by four policemen, who sustained injuries in the incident and were admitted to the Chidambaram General Hospital last night.

In the melee, the District Superintendent of Police was also pushed by the dikshidars.

The trouble started when the Temple Dikshidars prevented about 300 members of Human Rights Protection Group (HRPG) headed by 74-year-old Arumuga Swamy from entering the temple to recite Thevaram and Thiruvasagam hymns penned by saivite saints, despite having a court order.

Acting on a complaint from Chidambaram Town Police Station Head Constable Senthilkumar, who was among the injured, police had registered cases against 12 Dikshidars under various sections of the IPC including 147, 341, 294 (b), 332, 506(2) read with 188 of IPC.

On another complaint, police have registered cases against the HRPG and arrested 34 of its members, including eight advocates.

All the 46 arrested were produced before Chidambaram Judicial Magistrate-II Vasanthi, who remanded them in judicial custody.

They were later lodged in Cuddalore prison.

Meanwhile, tension prevailed in the Chidambaram town and police have tightened up security measures both inside and outside the temple.

''About 500 police personnel are deployed on security duty'', the sources added.

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