Special Correspondent

Saivite Arumugha Samy surrenders, pleads guilty

34 persons belonging to various Tamil outfits held

They were remanded to 15-day judicial custody

CUDDALORE: The police on Monday arrested 10 dikshithars in connection with the trouble that took place inside the Nataraja temple at Chidambaram on Sunday. They were produced before the Judicial Magistrate Court II which remanded them to judicial custody for 15 days. They were lodged in the Cuddalore sub-jail.

In another related case, the police arrested 34 persons, belonging to various Tamil outfits, including the Makkal Urimai Padhukappu Maiyam. Subsequently, Saivite Arumugha Samy surrendered before the same court and pleaded guilty. They were all remanded to 15-days judicial custody in the Cuddalore Central Prison. Those arrested included seven lawyers supporting Mr. Samy’s cause.

Mr. Samy has been staking his right to recite verses from Thevaram and Thiruvasagam at Thiruchitrambalam, situated just in front of the sanctum sanctorum. The HR&CE Department had also given him permission to recite verses on April 30, 2007.

However, the dikshithars, who are administering the affairs of the temple, took exception to such a move and had told Mr. Samy that he could do so by standing outside the sanctum sanctorum. It was strongly opposed by Mr. Samy and his supporters. The HR & CE Department again issued an order on February 28 this year empowering Mr. Samy to render hymns as he wished.

When the police escorted Mr. Samy along with 24 of his supporters into the temple on Sunday, the dikshithars obstructed them. As the efforts of the police to implement the HR&CE order met with stiff resistance from the dikshithars, they had to lunge forward.

However, the dikshithars roughed up the police, including Superintendent of Police Pradip Kumar.

There were two different versions over whether Mr. Samy could recite the verses or not. Meanwhile, supporters of Mr. Samy gathered before the temple in the evening and refused to disperse, despite appeals from the police.

Some miscreants hurled stones at the police, provoking them to resort to lathicharge.