Priests told to decide on devotee entry to Chitrambala Medai in Tamil Nadu's Chidambaram
While arious protests had taken place in Chidambaram against the restriction of entry, a senior police official said that the priests should implement the process that had been followed before COVID.
CUDDALORE: The Revenue Divisional Officer on Sunday asked priests of the Nataraja Temple to take a decision regarding the entry of devotees to the Chitrambala Medai, by Tuesday. This comes after around 20 priests had been booked for allegedly denying entry to devotees to the sanctum.
In the peace meeting, DSP Rameshraj said, "The priests must take a decision to bring about peace. Various protests had taken place in Chidambaram against the restriction of entry. They should implement the process that had been followed before the COVID-19 guidelines."
The priests, then, jointly presented a letter to the RDO K Ravi stating, "Considering the safety of devotees and priests, entry to the Chitrambala Medai was restricted during the pandemic. In a peace meeting, No one was allowed, including important persons, and everyone did free darshan, without caste discrimination. Some people kindled protests against the temple management. We request the revenue and police departments to extend their support to the temple like in the past."
They added, around five years ago, the Supreme Court had issued a ban for the order issued by Tamil Nadu Government to permit devotees to sing the Devaram in the Chitrambala Medai: soon we will submit the order. The priests also mentioned that they would soon organise a meeting to convey their final decision.
Meanwhile, RDO explained, "Different opinions have been raised between priests and the public, regarding the permission to enter Chitramabala Medai. Despite a G.O, the devotees were stopped, in accordance with the Court order. Hence, priests must submit an order copy soon. People must be permitted just like before the pandemic."
The RDO added that the priests must take a decision without affecting the law and order, and announce the order before Tuesday evening. Chidambaram DSP S Rameshraj, revenue and police department officials from, and representatives of priests from the Nataraja Temple were present for the meeting.
CPI functionaries arrested
Around 118 CPI cadre, including 17 women, were arrested in Chidambaram on Sunday for staging a protest near the Head Post Office in the district. Led by district politburo member VM Sekar, the functionaries had condemned the restriction on entry of devotees to the Chitrambala Medai.
They sat on the road in protest after they were halted by police personnel and Chidambaram DSP S Rameshraj. The cadre were cleared from the spot. Meanwhile, around, 200 police personnel were deployed at the temple for protection.
44th Natyanjali to commence from today
CUDDALORE: The 44th annual five-day long Natyanjali event will begin in Chidambaram from March 1. Speaking to reporters, Chidambaram Natyanjali trust secretary A Samandham said, "Nadagam, Kathak, Kuchipudi, Manipuri, and Mohiniattam dances will be performed. The event will honour freedom fighters as part of our 75th Independence Day. Artists from Tamil Nadu, across the nation and world will take part."