The activists alleged that an ‘untouchability wall’ had been erected to block the southern entrance to the temple

The police took into custody about 200 activists, including 50 women, when they were proceeding to lay siege to the southern entrance of the Natarajan temple here on Wednesday.

They alleged that Dikshithars raised an “untouchability wall” to block the southern entrance to the temple through which Nandanar, a staunch devotee of Lord Nataraja, stepped into the shrine.

Those rounded up included members of the Revolutionary Student Youth Front, the New Democratic Labour Front and the Farmers’ Freedom Front.

They also claimed that the Dikshithars removed the life-sized statue of Nandanar placed at the entrance.

Quoting former Director of Tamil Development Department Professor Kondal S.Mahadevan, the activists said the Nandanar statue existed at that place in 1935 and it found a mention in a book of Tamil scholar U.V.Swaminatha Iyer.

State president of the Human Right Protection Movement Raju said the activists would continue their efforts to re-install the Nandanar statue at the original place and pull down the wall.

He called upon the State government to pass a resolution in the Assembly in this regard.

Though the organisers originally planned to stage a demonstration at the Gandhi statue near the Chidambaram bus stand, they changed their plan at the last minute and started moving in small groups to the temple.

Anticipating their movement, police pickets were posted at all the four entrances of the temple.

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