RAMANATHAPURAM: Amid tight security, thousands of people, and leaders from various political parties paid homage to slain Dalit leader and freedom fighter Immanuvel Sekaran at his memorial in Paramakudi on his 62nd death anniversary.
A large number of people from Southern districts, including Ramanathapuram, Madurai, Sivaganga, Theni, Dindigul, Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi and Tiruchy, beelined to the memorial of the slain leader who actively participated in Dalit reformation in the early 1950s.
Earlier, family members of Immanuvel Sekaran and people from Sellur (the leader’s native) paid tributes. Later, members of various Dalit outfits and people thronged the memorial carrying ‘mulaipari’, ‘milk pot’ and ‘jothi’ (torch).
Tight security blanket
In view of the event, Paramakudi town was brought under a security blanket. More than 5,000 police personnel headed by Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) K Jayanth Murali, Inspector General of South Zone K P Shanmuga Rajeswaran, five Deputy Inspector Generals (DIG), 18 Superintendents of Police (SP), 18 ADSPs and 44 DSPs were deployed.
Sniffer dog squads, bomb disposal and anti-sabotage squads were also pressed into service. Seventy CCTV cameras were installed across the town and 70 police personnel equipped with hand-held cameras were also deployed. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) were used for monitoring vehicle movement and managing crowd in 3-km radius.
Stalin’s first visit
On behalf of AIADMK, Revenue Minister R B Udhayakumar, Minister for Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare V M Rajalakshmi, MLA N Sadan Prabakar, district secretary M A Muniasamy and former MP Anwhar Raajhaa paid tribute. For the first time, DMK President M K Stalin visited the memorial and paid floral tributes. He hailed the Dalit leader for his “contribution towards social reformation”.
Stalin was accompanied Thoothukudi MP Kanimozhi, former ministers I Periyasamy, Suba. Thangavelan, Periyakaruppan, ‘Sattur’ Ramachandran, Thangam Thenarasu and K N Nehru.