Demonstrate before Collectorate seeking action against temple staff

A group of devotees from Keerimedu near here was allegedly roughed up by the temple staff at Melmaruvathur on Saturday.

The devotees, along with their family members, protesting the rude behaviour of the temple staff there held a demonstration in front of the Collectorate here seeking appropriate action against them.

Superintendent of Police S. Manoharan went to the spot and pacified them by promising to take suitable action in this regard.

Dharman, one of the devotees, said that as many as 86 residents of Keerimedu, after observing the customary rituals, set out for the Melmaruvathur temple in two vans at 1pm on Saturday.

At about 7pm they initially reached the “Puthu Koil” where they offered prayers and also surrendered the “Iru Mudi,” a holy package containing a pair of coconuts, ghee, camphor, incense sticks, bead necklaces and stringed flowers all tied in a cloth, there.

Later, when they went to the main temple at Melmaruvathur the staff there told them that they would not allow entry to the devotees without the “Iru Mudi.” Even though the devotees told them about their surrendering of the holy package at the Puthu Koil the temple staff remained obstinate and barred entry to them.

When five of the devotees, including Dharman, Akilan, Sivagurunathan, Manian and Gowtham questioned the unnecessary condition imposed on them by the temple staff it led to heated exchanges between the devotees and the staff.

Later, the staff forcibly took five of the devotees to a room in the temple and beat them up. On learning that Mr. Gowtham is a lawyer they let him go. After a while the remaining four too were freed.

The devotees made a hurried retreat and returned to Keerimedu on the same night. On Sunday they submitted petitions to District Collector and the SP seeking necessary action against the temple staff through their counterparts in Kancheepuram.