Police on Thursday resorted to lathicharge to disperse CPI-M activists when they attempted to barge into the Srikrishna temple in Udupi to protest "discrimination" of devotees and continuance of "madesnana" ritual, police sources said.
Four protesters and two police personnel were injured in the melee and at least 100 persons have been taken into custody, Superintendent of Police Boralingaiah said.
CPI-M activists attempted to break the police cordon, leading to the lathicharge,sources said.
The activists were protesting against the discrimination of devotees while serving food at Kukke Subramanya and Sri Krishna temples and also the madesnana ritual in which people, mostly Dalits roll over plantain leaves on which Brahmins have partaken meals.
The people undertake the ritual believing that it would cure, among others, their skin diseases.
In both these temples, brahmins and non-brahmins are served food separately.
Boralingaiah said the situation is under control now.