Tension prevailed for a while at Talamalai forest area in Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR) on Monday when forest officials prevented the villagers of Doddapuram village from entering the forest area to offer prayers at a temple. The people gathered at the Talamalai forest check post and wanted to enter the forest area to offer prayers at the Udumban temple. They said the ragi and other millets they had cultivated in their small holdings were withering, and hence, they wanted to offer prayers at the temple for rain.
The forest officials refused to permit them as the temple is located inside STR. Later, the officials and the Talavadi police held talks with the villagers and agreed to allow them in small groups, following which they offered prayers at the temple.
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