Miscreants vandalised a local Lord Ganesha temple and set on fire a goat shed and a palm sugar unit in Nallamangalam near Rajapalayam Tuesday, police said.
The goat shed of Madasamy was set ablaze while idols in the Ottai Pillayar temple were found broken and uprooted by the vandals, police said.
The village residents complained to revenue officials that though they had caught a man moving around suspiciously and informed police, no action was taken till the noon.
Frequent incidents of torching of cattle sheds and haystack has caused tension in the communally sensitive area and people suspected the role of some Dalit leaders in the vandalism, revenue officials said.
Police said investigations were on and patrol in the area had been intensified.