Ariyalur district administration has clamped prohibitory orders at Silambur Therkku village after Dalits were refused the right to host the mandagapadi for a day at the Ayyanar temple, which is worshiped by both the Vanniyars and Dalits.
The temple with three deities – Ayyanar, Veeranar and Muniyanar – has been worshiped by the people in this region for the last two generations.
While the Dalits worshiped only the Veeranar deity, the Vanniyars worship all the three deities.
This comes only few days after some Dalits threatened to convert to Islam after they were refused to take part in the the annual Aadi festival at Sri Bhadrakaliamman Temple at Pazhag Kallimedu, with the Nagapattinam collector closed to banning the temple festival.
HOW IT ALL STARTED?
Clashes started to break between the two communities four years back when the Dalits wanted to start performing the goat sacrifice ritual for the Veeranar on their own, which was earlier performed by both the communities together.
They also wanted to move the deity out of the temple and this was vehemently opposed by the Vanniyars.
The temple was sealed in September, 2015 and prohibitory orders were clamped following tension between the communities.
The temple, which is under the Hindu religious and charitable endowment board, is claimed to be the temple of worship for people from more than 90 villages.
Chidambaram, a local from the village said, “For the last 200 years the temple has been part of the Kondiyar community. People of this community are in 90 villages. In 2002, it is said that the government had taken it under its wings as part of the Hindu religious and charitable endowment board. We knew about it only after the case was filed. We are here to request that the temple be returned to us and that the temple be opened again.”
But officials are of the opinion that the temple and its situation will cause more trouble and might disrupt the peace in the region.
The Tahsildar of the region said, “Silambur village’s Ayannar temple had witnessed dispute between two communities, and to stop further issues, the temple has been sealed under Section 144. Police officials are giving protection to the place.”