Tension prevailed in Chinna Kanchipuram on Friday evening when members of two Vaishnavite sects — Thenkalais and Vadakalais — clashed over the chanting of Naalayira Divya Prabhandam to Lord Varadharaja Perumal, who was taken out in a procession on the eighth day of the annual festival, Thiruvedipuri Utsavam.
As per the ritual, the idol of saint Thirumangai Azhwar was taken thrice around the presiding deity, which was mounted on a horse. The Thenkalai sect devotees then began reciting the Naalayira Divya Prabandham, a collection of 4,000 Tamil hymns, written and sung by the Azhwars in praise of Lord Vishnu.
As per the ritual, the Thenkalai group started singing the hymns on the Thirukatchi Nambi Street, but members of the Vadakalai sect opposed them. Soon, they got into a heated argument and some of them thrashed each other in the middle of the road.
The Thenkalai group lodged a complaint at the Vishnukanchi police station, alleging that a few Vadakalai sect members pushed them down.
This deprived them of their traditional right of reciting the Prabandham, the complaint added.