VELLORE: A 35-year-old man was nabbed for setting the chariots of two temples on fire, in Sathuvachari on Thursday night. According to sources, the chariots are maintained by Salai Ganagaiamman and Ganagaiamman temples and were found burning by the locals at around 2.30 am. On noticing the fire, the locals rushed to the spot and tried to put it out and informed the fire and rescue service personnel, who rushed to the spot and put out the fire.
The police while talking to the locals found out that one Selvaraj used to frequent the spot with his friends and get drunk. The police immediately searched for him.
During questioning, Selvaraj confessed to having set the chariots on fire. He was booked and later remanded. He would produced in the court on Friday evening.
A resident of Vijayarangam Street near Sathuvachari, Selvaraj is alleged to have killed his mother-in-law after a dispute a few years ago.
The district Hindu Munnani has demanded immediate measures for protection of all temples and monuments in the district.
District organiser of HM, G Mahesh, said that the chariots were kept close to the national highway for over 10 years. The age-old chariots were renovated and redecorated periodically by the temples.
The locals revere the deities (known as grama devatha or village protection goddess). While it is believed that the Salai Gangaiamman protected those who passed through the street, the Gangaiamman is believed to protect those living in the village. Every year both temples organise festivals, where the deities are taken around in chariots.
Mahesh also called for thorough investigations into the recent incidents in the Madurai Meenakshi Temple and Thiruvalangadu.
The district administration should provide total protection to all temples and book those involved in destroying the sentiments of Hindus said Mahesh, adding failing which the HM would launch a series of protests.