ARIYALUR: A day after violence broke out in a Dalit settlement at Ponparappi the residents, women, in particular, fear an escalation of tension. Sendurai police have so far arrested 12 persons in connection with the incident.
Ponparappi falls under Chidambaram constituency, where VCK chief Thol Thirumavalavan contested. Even as polling was on, a few persons allegedly affiliated to the PMK and Hindu Munnani broke a pot, the VCK chief’s symbol, which triggered heated arguments and a scuffle. Subsequently, a gang entered the Dalit colony and damaged several houses. Two wheelers were also vandalised. The violence left eight persons injured.
Though a heavy posse of police has been deployed in the village, fear of further attacks haunts Dalits. “We did not sleep last night as we feared the gang may come again and attack us. Our settlement is surrounded by their lands. After seeing the attacks, our children are yet to come out of the shock,” said Gowthami.
Sankar said “We have to pass through the streets dominated by them to reach the main road. For how long, police could provide us security. What will happen to us after the police leave our village.”
The block development officer of Sendurai went to the colony and assessed the damages on Friday. Meanwhile, based on the complaint from R Gunaseelan, a resident of the colony, Sendurai police booked cases against 24 persons. Of them, 12 persons were arrested on Friday night. Many more persons have been picked up for questioning. The video of the attack is helping the police in identifying the miscreants.
VCK chief demands re-poll
In the wake of Thursday’s incidents, Thirumavalvan has demanded re-poll in Ponparappi. Addressing media, he alleged Dalits of Ponparappi were prevented from exercising their franchise and accused PMK of booth capturing at several places across the State.