Five policemen were suspended on Sunday for dereliction of duty after protests against a queue system for visiting pilgrims at the Jagannath temple in Odisha’s Puri district turned violent last week, reported PTI. Eighteen people were also arrested in connection with the incident.

On October 3, members of a socio-cultural outfit called the Shree Jagannath Sena called a 12-hour bandh and staged violent protests against the queue system introduced at Jagannath temple. Shree Jagannath Sena’s convenor Priyadarshan Patnaik claimed that the manner in which the new system was introduced had hurt the sentiments of a large number of devotees.

The protestors burned tyres, blocked Bada Danda – a road leading up to the temple – and hurled stones at the residence of the superintendent of police. Nine policemen were injured in the protests.

Puri Superintendent of Police Sarthak Sarangi said that a havildar and four constables have been suspended for negligence in discharging their duties during the shutdown. The five policemen were deployed at legislator Maheswar Mohanty’s home, which was ransacked by protestors.

With the arrests of 18 people on Sunday, the total number of arrests has gone up to 41. Earlier, the police had arrested 23 people. Sarangi said that the police were trying to arrest the rest and have used CCTV camera footage to identify 47 people indulging in violence.