Tirunelveli: Tirunelveli district collector, Shilpa Prabhakar Satish promulgated section 144 of Cr.P.C. in Shengottai and Tenkasi taluks in Tirunelveli district with effect from Friday morning till 6 am on Saturday following a clash between two religious groups during the Vinayagar Chathurthi procession at Shengottai town on the Chathurthi day evening.
Following the court direction around 498 Vinayagar idols were kept on the Vinayagar Chathurthi day on Sep 13. Shengottai town bordering Kerela state in Tirunelveli district, has a total of 36 idols that were taken in procession the same day to be immersed at Gundaar river. The procession which commenced from the Vandimarachiamman temple, was, however, opposed by a section of youths as it entered a Melur street, where a mosque is located.
This resulted in a wordy altercation between the youths on both the sides, which turned to a clash as both sides started pelting stones and chappals at each other. The police deployed for security in the region was so inadequate that they could not control the clash.
In the group clash, ten persons including a police inspector was injured and around 330 two-wheelers and cars were damaged. The clash that continued for more than three hours however was brought under control following additional deployment of police from the nearby areas.
Around 1,500 policemen under the direct supervision of the Tirunelveli district SP, Mr. Arun Sakthikumar along with three DSPs have been deployed in Shengottai and Tenkasi regions. The police too held talks with the religious heads of both sides to ease tension. In view of the clash, shops and other commercial establishments remain closed on the following day on Friday.
Tirunelveli district collector, Shilpa Prabakar Satish, who inspected the situation at Tenaksi and Shengottai ordered the closure of Tasmac wine shops in the three taluks of Tenkasi, Shengottai and Kadayanallur until the next order is passed. Taking into consideration the tense situation, the district collector too promulgated section 144 of Cr.P.C. in the taluks of Tenkasi and Shengottai till 6 am on September 15 to maintain law and order and to ensure general peace in the region.
However, to respect the sentiments of the individual devotees, the police permitted the immersion of small idols in the water bodies, while strictly prohibiting processions by Hindu organisations with the idols to the river....