Three months after they were arrested in connection with the mob violence in Dalit colonies in the Naickenkottai area of Dharmapuri, 91 people were released from two prisons in Salem on Friday.
While 79 persons had been lodged at the Salem Central Prison, 12 students aged between 18 and 21 had been taken to an adolescent offenders home at Sankagiri. The second judicial magistrate court in Dharmapuri ordered the released persons to appear daily at the CB-CID office in Dharmapuri.
Many of the released persons, including 15 members of the Naidu community, claimed that they were arrested arbitrarily and had nothing to do with the violence. Arulnathan, an employee of the TNEB, was among those released. “Arulnathan and others from our Naidu community were arrested merely because they happened to be passers by or because they happened to be at the spot on the day,” claimed his brother Adal.
S A Chinnasamy, president, Tamizhaga Vivasaigal Sangam, said the organisation had represented about the false arrests to the Chief Minister.
Meanwhile, the 12 students who were taken to the adolescent home rued that they had lost nearly 90 days of attendance, which imperilled their education. They claimed that those involved in the violence were from the upper strata of the Vanniyar community while those arrested were from the lower economic groups, who had amicable ties with Dalits.