Two Hindu activists arrested for attacking foreigners in Tamil Nadu

January 19th, 2009 - 3:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Jan 19 (IANS) Two Hindu activists were arrested in Thiruvannamalai town of Tamil Nadu Monday for attacking foreigners following a dispute over rituals performed at a marriage, a police official said.”Trouble arose after Hans, a German, and Julie, an American, married Sunday according to Hindu rites in a small temple but exchanged rings in the sanctum sanctorum as a sign of their matrimony. Volunteers of the Hindu Munnani (Hindu Front) objected to this and a scuffle ensued,” Superintendent of Police V. Balakrishnan told IANS on phone.

“Later, miscreants stoned Shanti Malai Ashram, where the foreigners reside. They damaged furniture and a three-wheeler today (Monday). To prevent further trouble, the temple has been closed, two suspects S. Babu and K. Murugan have been detained and the foreigners have been given police protection,” Balakrishnan added.

Similar trouble had arisen two years ago. The cause for the ire against foreigners was that the couple exchanged rings inside the temple in the Christian manner instead of tying a Taali (chain) around the bride’s neck as per Hindu rites, police sources added.

Thiruvannamalai is a temple town, 190 km south of state capital Chennai. It attracts over 300,000 Indian and foreign visitors every year. Over 800 people from the US, Europe, Australia, Japan and other countries live in this town pursuing their quest for spirituality.

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