Smoking near a temple nearly cost a man his life as his neighbour, objecting to the act, attacked him with a sickle on Sunday night. But the clash, in a village near Chennai, claimed the local electrician, an innocent bystander.
Velu, 30, from Vallal Pari Nagar village recently had an argument with his neighbour Santosh and thrashed him. Santosh’s brother Suresh, also 30, angered by Velu’s behaviour had protested against him.
The anger boiled over at the Rudragiri Amman Shrine, a private temple at a residential premise in the locality, when Velu spotted Suresh smoking. He warned him, saying it amounted to “disrespecting” the Gods. Then Velu rushed into the temple where a sickle was kept and attacked Suresh, injuring him seriously on his arms and legs, police said.
Raghu, the local electrician, tried to intervene and overpower Velu, but was unwittingly struck on the head. He died on the spot. Velu, realising what he had done, fled.
As the news spread, relatives and friends of Suresh and Raghu marched towards the hospital where Suresh was admitted.
Pallikaranai Inspector Dinakaran said police had been rushed to the spot and the situation is now under control. Three police teams, he added, have been formed to trace Velu.