NAMAKKAL: Tension prevailed in Tiruchengode in the wee hours of Wednesday when revenue officials and police removed the idol of a Hindu god. Officials said the idol had been installed on poromboke land.
Hundreds of people thronged the spot and staged a protest against a missionary who lodged a complaint against the installation of the idol. A section of people residing in the foothills of Arabaleeswarar temple said, “We have been living here for more than four decades and demanding patta but in vain. In the same area, a church was also functioning for more than 25 years. The temple administration planned to build a road around the hill to facilitate girivalam and the revenue department started to clear encroachments. The church was razed during the drive recently.”
“Three days ago, we placed an idol in a tent. The missionary lodged a complaint against us and police took away the idol at around 1.30 am on Wednesday, despite our objections.”
The residents alleged that police resorted to lathi charge and threw plastic chairs at the protesters.
Tiruchengode Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Selvam said, “We have secured 22 persons for preventing government servants from discharging their duty. Police personnel have deployed in the area. “
Tiruchengode RDO Ilavarasi said, “As per orders, we evicted encroachments in the foothills. The temple was on poromboke land. That is why we removed it.” Hindu Munnani and BJP have announced protests on Thursday.