BJP TN chief Murugan tries to go on 'Vel yatra' defying ban, detained

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Chennai, Nov 6 (PTI) The BJP's Tamil Nadu unit chief L Murugan was on Friday detained at Tiruttani near here by police when he tried to embark on a statewide 'Vel Yatra', defying a ban.

The Saffron party's top state leader said the yatra was to 'expose' the DMK which was allegedly behind the 'Karuppar Kootam', a You Tube channel, that had reportedly denigrated 'Kanda Sashti Kavacham', a spiritual hymn in praise of Lord Muruga.

Amid chants of 'Vetri vel' and 'Veera Vel,' when Murugan, clad in saffron tried to start the yatra in his custom made van from Tiruttani, he was held along with scores of BJP workers.

Union Minister of State for Home, G Kishan Reddy visited Tiruttani to offer worship at the temple and Murugan called on him at a hotel before he was detained.

BJP national general secretary C T Ravi, state leaders including Pon Radhakrishnan, C P Radhakrishnan and H Raja were among those who arrived at Tiruttani for the yatra.

Asked on BJP's attempt to go on yatra, Chief Minister K Palaniswami said in Nilgiris district that law will take its own course.

Vel, a spear-like weapon of Lord Muruga, is worshipped by the devotees as a destroyer of evil.

Tiruttani is 85 km away from here, close to the Andhra Pradesh border and the town is home to Sri Subramanya Swami temple, one of the six sacred shrines, 'padai veedu' of Lord Muruga.

The yatra was originally scheduled to commence from Friday and go on till December 6 covering all the six abodes of Lord Muruga or Karthikeya spread across Tamil Nadu.

The government, however, refused permission for it 'in view of the coronavirus pandemic.' The Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi had petitioned the police against permission for the yatra alleging that it could lead to violence.

Also, two petitions were filed in the Madras High Court against the yatra and the government informed the court on Thursday that there would be no permission for it.

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