TIRUCHY: The priests and nuns of St Antony’s Church at Amalasiramam in Mambalasalai, along with the devotees, staged a road blockade outside the church after the police denied them the permission to take out a car procession, here on Tuesday.
The protesters said that they had approached the police for permission to take out a procession to mark the conclusion of their church feast a week ago.
The police had then given them the permission. However, after a Hindu outfit lodged a complaint against the event alleging disruption of peace, the permission was revoked.
The annual feast of St Antony was scheduled to be held on Tuesday, after the which a car procession from the church premises to Holy Cross convent, which is half a kilometre away, was to be taken out.
According to the church officials, they had been conducting the car procession for the past 47 years and they had obtained permission from Srirangam police a week ago.
However, on Monday, a day before the scheduled car procession, Srirangam inspector Siva Subramanian approached the Rector of Amalasiraman, Fr Arul Dhas, and told him not to take out the procession as a Hindu outfit had lodged a complaint claiming that the procession would violate peace.
On Tuesday morning, around 10.30 am, when a section of devotees gathered at the church for the morning mass enquired about the car procession schedule, Fr Arul Dhas told the devotees about the police order.
Soon the news spread to other devotees, who gathered outside the church and staged a road blockade.
On information, the police, led by inspector Siva Subramanian rushed to the spot and held talks with the agitators.
On information, Deputy Commissioner (law and order) Abinav Kumar, rushed to the spot and held talks with the agitating devotees and gave permission to take out the procession. Subsequently, around 11.15 am, the devotees dispersed.
Later, around 6.30 pm, the car procession was held as scheduled amid tight security to prevent any untoward incident.