Police fired in the air as two groups threw stones at each other at Devipattinam near here on Friday evening.

It all started with a group taking out a procession in connection with an annual temple festival. Trouble broke out when members of the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) objected to a religious group taking out the procession beating drums and dancing.

The group was taking out the procession from Navabashanam on the Devipattinam coast to the Muneeswarar Temple, located one and a half km away from the coast in connection with the annual festival, when the SDPI members objected to their passing through two places of worship.

As per the existing arrangement, the group passed though the places of worship well before the prayer time at 6 45 p.m., but a section objected to the drum beating and dancing, the police said.

Immediately, the police intervened and sorted out the issue, but about 50 to 60 members of the SDPI went to the temple site where the festival was going on and started throwing stones at the gathering. Tension ensued when the other group retaliated, forcing the police to take action.

The police said six persons from both the sides were injured in stone throwing and were admitted to government and private hospitals.

Superintendent of Police N.M.Mylvahanan, who rushed to the spot soon after trouble broke out, said the situation was under control and adequate police force was deployed. He told The Hindu that cases would be registered against all who indulged in violence. Deputy Inspector General of Police (Ramnad Range) S.Baskaran also visited the spot and supervised the security arrangements.

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