SHILLONG, Oct 16 - Over a dozen policemen, including an ASP, were injured when two groups of devotees clashed in West Jaintia Hills district, prompting the district administration to impose prohibitory order in the area, a senior police officer said today.
The two groups clashed on Monday night over the right to perform rituals at the Nartiang Durga Temple after the death of the chief priest in March this year, the officer said. As the new priest tried to enter the temple, the two groups attacked one another, forcing the police to intervene. In the melee, an ASP and over a dozen policemen were injured as the two groups attacked the police with rocks and live embers, SP Lakador Syiem said.
District DC Garod LSN Dykes has imposed prohibitory order under Section 144 CrPC in and around the village. The SP said additional security forces were deployed in and around the temple to ensure that no untoward incident takes place till the festivities are over.
While informing that no arrests were made, the SP said the police have already identified the trouble mongers and all of them have fled the village fearing arrest.
The Nartiang Durga temple was closed soon after the death of the chief priest as there was a dispute as to who would conduct the puja at the temple resulting in the High Court intervening in the matter, officials said. A single bench of the High Court had on September 14 ordered that the puja rituals should be performed without any disturbance, they said. � PTI