Suspected MDMK and Nam TamizharIyakkam activists on Tuesday allegedly barged into the house of the Ramanathaswamy Temple priest here and threw stones and slippers when a relative of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa was about to perform a 'pooja'.
Priest R C Anandha Dikshithar said the group broke open the gate and door of the house and shouted slogans against the Sri Lankan President when Tirukumaran Natesan was about to perform a "parikara pooja" (prayer seeking to remedy ill-effects of some sins).
Stones and slippers were hurled inside, the priest alleged, adding, he suffered minor bruises.
"They were under the impression that the pooja was being performed for continuance of Rajapaksa's regime, and abused me for performing the pooja," the priest said.
Tirukumaran had been visiting him for the past three years, the priest said.
Tirukumaran told PTI that he had come to do some shanthi/parikara pooja for his son. Somebody had spread rumours that the pooja was being done for the good of the Sri Lankan government, leading to the attack, he said.
"I worshipped in the temple last evening.I wanted to do the pooja today. It was not possible," he said.
Police said they had deployed police personnel in and around the priest's house.
Two MDMK functionaries have been detained in connection with the incident, police said, adding, they were looking for 40 others who had indulged in violence.
The Rameswaram Priests' Association has lodged a complaint, police added.