Following a truce in Nanjanad near here turning out to be short - lived, law and order in the village has once again become a source of concern to the district administration and the police.

For about a quarter of a century there had been a dispute between two groups (both made up of members belonging to the Badaga community) over who had the right to perform pujas at the local Sri Nanjundeswarar temple.

While the contention of one group comprising the majority of the villagers was that as per the custom of the community ,only those belonging to their group in terms of lineage can be pujaris, those in the opposing group claimed that they were also eligible.

A subsequent court order which had ruled that pujas can be performed by both the groups and peace talks held about a fortnight ago in the presence of community elders from four corners of the district had brought about a truce.

However with peace going at a premium members of the smaller group have alleged that those in the other group are not respecting the policy of ‘live and let live’.

Seeking the intervention of the district administration they landed at the Collectorate here on Tuesday.

Speaking to The Hindu their leader S. Sivaraman said, “we are unable to live in peace in our village”.

In a memorandum submitted to the Nilgiris Collector Archana Patnaik, the villagers listed the ways in which they were being harassed.

They alleged that they were not able to go near the public tap, their children were being teased, they were being kept away from the Public Distribution System outlet, their cable TV connections have been snapped and they were being abused and assaulted.

Claiming that their rights are being violated, they said that they wanted to surrender their ration cards as they were not able to use them.

Ms. Patnaik assured them that the matter would be looked into.

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