The 24th annual Vinayakar Visarjana procession organised by the Hindu Munnani passed off peacefully here on Sunday.
The police outnumbered volunteers and cadres as the handful of Vinayakar idols were taken in a procession from the Jambavan Odai Sivan Koil to the Baminiyaru where they were immersed after the seven km march.
The flashpoints were numerous mosques that had to be crossed by the procession in the Muslim-majority Muthupettai where the Vinayakar Visarjanam every year would lead to tension. The town has 18 mosques. Many of them in the procession route necessitated strengthening of security with police drawn from the neighbouring districts as well.
There had been cases of communal tension in the past and the police as well as the officials were out to ensure that no such thing happened this year. Peace meetings were held ahead of the D-day involving the local Jamaath, Hindu Munnani leaders and other stake holders. Police on Sunday deployed around 2,000 personnel, riot control units including Quick Reaction Units.
The procession commenced at the Jambavan Odai Sivan Temple around 2.30 p.m. and passed through the Jambavan Odai Durgah and three other mosques as anxious police and officials walked enveloping the marching cadres. While hundreds of Muslim men, women and children lined up the steps of the Jambavan Odai Dargah to watch the procession pass through, the Hindu Munnani cadres rent the air with cries of Bharat Mata Ki Jai as they passed the area.
Chenda Melam artistes from Kerala were part of the procession. Once the procession reached the immersion point leaders of the Hindu Munnai and other religious outfits called for Hindu unity transcending the barriers of caste and creed and work for the uplift of all sections before the idols were immersed near the Sembadavan Kadu on the Bamaniyaru.
When the procession was crossing the Odakarai area, some one from the fag end of the rally threw a stone that broke the window of the house of the former Muslim League MP from Vellore Abdul Rahman and as some Muslim youths gathered there, police intervened to assure that action would be taken against the miscreants.
The State BJP Vice-President Karuppu alias Muruganandam led the procession. The party district president Pettai Siva, and Coimbatore Kamakshipuri Adheenam pontiff participated.
Inspector General of Central Zone Varadarajan, DIG, Thanjavur Range, Senthil Kumar, Superintendent of Police, Tiruvarur, N.M. Mayilvahanan were among the police officers present to regulate the procession.