80 persons arrested over temple idol issue



Udhagamandalam: About 80 persons, including some from various Hindu outfits, were arrested Thursday when they staged a road roko, protesting against removal of an idol kept on the premises of a temple at nearby Masinagudi by officials.

Police said the forest department had asked the villagers not to install any idol on the premises of the temple, functioning under a huge tree for the last several years, as the area comes under the Core Zone of the forest in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR).

However, some persons kept the idol two days ago and officials, aided by police and MTR officials removed it and handed it over to forest department, they said.

Protesting against the action, around 80 persons, including those belonging to Hindu Munnani, VHP and RSS squatted on the main road, about 40 KMs from here, disrupting traffic for nearly two hours, they said.

All of them were arrested and traffic was cleared, police added.

PTI