Karaikal: Temple fest mediation fails, Section 144 imposed after clash between 2 groups

The administrative committee and the opposing group then separately attempted to initiate patronage works, leading to more disputes.
Karaikal: Temple fest mediation fails, Section 144 imposed after clash between 2 groups
 (Express Illustration | Amit Bandre)

KARAIKAL: The Karaikal deputy collector has imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC on two groups of residents from the same community in Valatheru discouraging their participation in any activities pertaining to an upcoming temple festival in their locality. The order was issued on Friday after the administration’s mediation failed to broker peace between the groups.

According to sources, a group in Valatheru has been objecting to the functions of an ‘administrative committee’ in managing the temples of Dakshina Mariamman, Nadana Kaliamman, Bathrakaliamman and Padai Bathrakaliamman in the locality.

The temples that are not under the Puducherry’s Hindu religious institutions department are managed by a community of residents in the locality. A section opposes the committee as they alleged that they were not respecting their opinions and that they were acting arbitrarily in organising an upcoming temple festival, ‘Mulaipaligai Thiruvizha’.

The administrative committee and the opposing group then separately attempted to initiate patronage works, leading to more disputes. The issue was subsequently taken up with the Karaikal administration for intervention in June 2023. In the following month, the administration convened a peace meeting.

However, either side failed to arrive at an amicable solution, and the meeting ended in heated arguments. With the ‘Mulaipaligai Thiruvizha’ scheduled later this month, the station house officer (SHO) of Karaikal Town Police Station conveyed to the Karaikal administration law and order concerns were the groups allowed to play roles in the conduct of the festival.

Based on the SHO’s recommendations, Karaikal Deputy Collector-cum-Sub Divisional Magistrate G Johnson exercised provisions under CrPC Section 144 (i) to issue the prohibitory orders.

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