Tension prevailed for a while near the harbour here when more than 350 Aiyappa devotees, who arrived in Chennai on Sunday from the Andamans en route to Sabarimala, staged a demonstration alleging that they were "forcibly" served non-vegetarian food on board a ship in which they were travelling during their six-day journey.
The pilgrims also alleged that they were also asked to share seats with women passengers on the ship, police said.
According to the devotees, they objected when they noticed fish and mutton dishes served to them in the ship. They refused to eat the food and ate just fruits and biscuits during the journey.
BJP State president Pon Radhakrishnan told the devotees that Port Trust authorities had assured him of action against those involved in serving the non-vegetarian food to them.
The BJP leader said his party would stage agitation if action was not taken against those responsible.
The devotees also alleged that they had to face harassment from conductors after boarding buses to their onward destination, as they demanded excess fare and tickets were not issued even after some of them paid the money.
Aiyyappa devotees follow a strict diet regimen and observe certain rules before taking a pilgrimage to Sabarimala.