A 17-year-old Dalit boy was allegedly slapped by a temple priest for touching the vibuthi (sacred ash) plate in the temple in Mettupalayam on Saturday.

The boy, a resident of Govindasamy Nagar, went to a Vinayagar Temple in Mettupalayam. After offering prayers, he took vibuthi from the plate kept near the deity and smeared it on his sister's forehead. The priest, Jambunathan (49), and his son, Sugavanam, objected to it and allegedly slapped the boy.

Based on a complaint filed by the boy's father, the Mettupalayam police have registered a case and arrested Jambunathan and Sugavanam. Both were remanded to custody. They have been booked under Sections 294 (B) (using filthy language) and 323 (assault).