Varanasi, Sept 23: The Sri Kashi Maratha Ganesha Utsav Samiti members, who have been staging a dharna here against preventing them from immersing idols in Ganga river, on Wednesday claimed that they were lathicharged by the police.
Police resorted to lathicharge yesterday to disperse the devotees staging a dharna in Godowalia area here, demanding immersion of Ganesha idols in Ganga, Vivek Tiwari, a member of the Samiti said.
The police took the extreme step after the devotees refused to clear the road, he said. Tiwari also alleged that the forces took the idols and immersed them in a nearby Lakshmi-Kund (pond).
Swami Avimukteshwarananad Saraswati, who had also participated in the dharna, was injured in the incident, he added.
The Samiti as well as various other outfits are protesting since Monday evening after they were stopped from immersing the Ganesha idols in Ganga in view of the Allahabad High Court's order.
The court had ordered for ban of idol immersion in Ganga to curb polluting of the river. The imposition was relaxed, especially for Varanasi for a year due to its geographical area. The relaxation ended this year.