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Activist arrested on charge of defaming temple officials

Press Trust of India 

An activist, who has moved the Madras High Court alleging irregularities in the famous Lord Ranganathaswamy temple at Srirangam here, was arrested on Wednesday on charges of defaming the authorities through the social media, police said.

Rangarajan Narasimhan was arrested for allegedly defaming the temple executive officer and other officials by claiming that they were planning to replace the ancient silver lamp against 'Agamas' (traditional codes for temples), they said.

The action was taken based on a complaint by a temple official that Narasimhan had been spreading false information about the administration of the ancient shrine.

Narasimhan, a member of the Srirangam temple retrieval organisation, in the past few years had filed petitions in the high court, about "removal" of idols and statues from the templeunder the pretext of renovation.

He had also charged the temple administration with not following 'agamas' and cut-shorting various poojas for commercial interest including reaching thetarget for tickets for them.

Narasimhan had moved the high court against Chairman of board of trustees of Kapaleeswarar temple in Chennai Venu Srinivasan over missing idol of a peacock at the shrine.

A member of the temple retrieval committee alleged that the action against the activist was vindictive.

"The Idol wing police had staged that there was prima facie case in the complaints lodged by Narasimhan and it was against this background the vindictivecomplaint had been given," alleged Sesha Bhagavathar.

The retrieval committee membersclaimed the police were threatening the supporters of Narasimhan and intimidating the staff, including priests.

Narasimhan claimed a section of the temple priests and other employees were against replacing the existing silver lamp as it required only minor repair.

Ever since the case was filed in the high court, the Joint Commissioner was taking vindictive actions against Narasimhan, alleged Nambi, a functionary of the retrieval committee.

Temple officials, however, accused Narasimhan of spreadinglies about the administration, though they agreed a new lamp had been given by a donor.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, November 06 2019. 21:20 IST