Udhagamandalam (TN): Twenty five years after remaining locked over a dispute on who should perform poojas at a Siva temple at nearby Nanjandu, officials on Wednesday acted on a Supreme Court order and allowed one group to enter and perform rituals, but arrested 170 persons who tried to obstruct them.
Two groups of the Badaga community in the village, numbering about 1,000 had been at loggerheads over the past 25 years on the right to perform poojas at the temple.
While 900 of them claimed to have the sole right to worship and perform pooja in the temple as they have been staying the area for long, the third and fourth generation, wanted equal rights to perform pooja, official sources said.
These family members then petitioned the Madras High Court some years ago, which recently directed the other group and village head to give them the right to perform poojas.
The other members then filed a petition in the Supreme Court, seeking a stay but the Apex court upheld the Court verdict a couple of days ago.
Armed with the Court order top HR and CE officials and a police contingent arrived at the temple today to break open the lock, but were initially prevented from doing so by 170
members who squatted on the road.
All of them were arrested, brought to this city and lodged in a hall, police said.
Later the officials broke open the lock and allowed the group to perform poojas.