Two persons were beaten to death and six injured on Monday when two groups of native Badaga tribe clashed over a long-standing dispute on performing prayers in a village temple near here.
In retaliation to the killing, around 20 houses were set on fire and another ten ransacked at the Nanjanadu Village, about 20 km from here. Police have taken into custody 17 persons, belonging to one group.
An uneasy calm was prevailing in the village where heavy police presence had been put in place, police said. Six injured persons had been admitted to Government Hospital here.
A dispute over the right to perform prayer at the Lord Shiva temple has led to a division among the around 1,500 residents, who have been at loggerheads for the past few years and the matter was pending in court.
Trouble erupted last night following a wordy duel between the two groups over performing prayers for coming 'Shivratri' festival. Following this, members of one of the groups fatally attacked two youths of the rival group around 3.30 AM, police said.
Hearing about the murder of the two, the other group people gathered and ransacked some 20 houses and burnt ten others of the rival group.