Eighteen cars and two motorcycles were torched in scuffles involving some 50 men who entered a Hindu temple in a suburb of Petaling Jaya in Malaysia to attack those inside, in an escalation of a land dispute between a property developer and temple devotees.
The chief priest of Sri Maha Mariamman temple said the storming of the temple “felt like a scene out of a Tamil movie”.
Dr Jeyakumar Subramaniam claimed that he and other senior temple leaders were held down by masked assailants with knives to their necks.
At least a dozen people were injured in the 2am attack at the Sri Maha Mariamman temple, with police and top politicians calling for calm and saying the incident was not related to race or religion.
Malaysian police have detained 21 men for allegedly being involved in two violent clashes between a group of thugs and devotees at Sri Maha Mariamman temple.
Selangor police chief Mazlan Mansor said 19 people were arrested on Monday (Nov 26) and the remaining two on Tuesday morning.
“The two were arrested in the vicinity of the temple. We also found a machete in a car,” he said in a press conference.
According to reports, the developer of the residential project, One City Development, had reached a court settlement in March 2014 with temple representatives to relocate the century-old temple in Subang Jaya township to another location 3.5km away, with the company saying it will donate RM1.5 million (S$490,000) for the construction of a new temple.
Talks on the relocation have been ongoing since 2007. While some temple devotees agreed to the move, others want to stay put.