The ancient Dudheshwar Nath temple turned into a battleground as two groups clashed inside the premises, pulled out weapons and assaulted each other up on Tuesday afternoon. The temple authorities said that nearly 100 men had visited the temple for an event, during which an altercation arose.
Following the episode, senior police officials and administration officials rushed to the spot and rounded up several persons. During the incident, equipment of the media persons was also damaged by the rioters. The incident took place even as prohibitory orders are in place until February 15.
“I have asked the police to take necessary legal action even if neither of the parties files a police complaint and they reach a compromise,” Bhramdev Singh, city magistrate, said.
The temple authorities said that the rioters also misbehaved with the temple authorities.
“Just before the start of the event inside the premises, both groups got into an altercation on some issue. People from both sides were beaten up and the altercation also ensued inside my room. When we tried to intervene, they pushed us aside and misbehaved. Some of these persons beat up others with the help of weapons they had brought along,” Mahant Narayan Giri, temple coordinator, said.
“Generally, we don’t check for weapons when devotees visit the temple. It is assumed that such items will not be brought to a place of worship. However, we have decided to put up a board stating that no weapons or any such items will be allowed inside henceforth,” Giri said.
He said that the police from Ghanta Ghar Kotwali was immediately informed about the incident and he also dialled the emergency number for help.
The police said that they have rounded up four persons in connection with the incident and said they will take action against those responsible. “Equipment of media persons was damaged. We have asked the persons involved to pay for the damages. So far, four persons have been detained. We will take necessary action in the matter,” IP Singh, circle officer (city II), said.
The ancient temple is thronged by thousands of devotees every day and is also a popular location for major festivals, including the culmination prayers of the annual Kanwar Yatra in Ghaziabad.