VILLUPURAM: Tension prevailed in Rampakkam village near Valavanur on Monday following a caste feud between higher secondary school students belonging to two different communities. Police resorted to a lathicharge to disperse them.
According to Selvamani (33), a Dalit woman, the caste clashes have became common after the Rampakkam High School was upgraded to Higher Secondary School two years ago.
Recalling that the school had witnessed as many as three incidents of such clashes between students over the past two years, she said both Dalit and Caste Hindu students from surrounding villages study at the school.
The Dalit parents stopped sending their children to the school, located in a Caste Hindu locality, demanding a separate school near the locality where Dalits were the majority. In protest, some educated Dalit youth took classes for the students at Rampakkam Dalit colony.
On information, DEO Madhavan and Revenue officials assured Dalit parents of action and requested to end their protest.
Around 12 pm, a clash broke out between two sections of villagers. Later, Caste Hindus reportedly attacked a Dalit man at the Rampakkam bus stand. In retaliation, people from the Dalit community ransacked the houses of five caste Hindus.
Soon, a posse of around 200 policemen and striking force teams from Cuddalore rushed to the spot and dispersed the crowd after a lathicharge. Around 10 Caste Hindus and 10 Dalits, including the Rampakkam village president Selvi, sustained injuries.
Police said about 10 Dalits have been detained in connection with the ransacking of houses.
Meanwhile, the school has been closed till August 2.
Fearing police action, men from both communities fled their homes.
All these were a fallout of a clash that erupted last Thursday when some of the Caste Hindu students abused Dalit boys by writing their caste name on the blackboard. Also, they allegedly teased Dalit girls, said another source.
The Caste Hindu students allegedly brought some youth to attack their Dalit classmates. What followed was an clash with iron rods and beer bottles that had left two Dalit student seriously injured. They are currently undergoing treatment at the Mundiyambakkam GH.