Tension prevailed for a while at the Monjanai village near Mallasamudram in Thiruchengode Taluk when a group of villagers belonging to the dalit community tried to take a body to the crematorium through a pathway that was fenced off following a High Court order.
According to sources, the villagers led by VCK district secretary M P Kumanan and Navarasu wanted to take the body of an elderly woman who died on Friday through the pathway that was under dispute for some years.
The owner of the land, Ramasamy, a caste Hindu, opposed the move citing a High Court injunction.
Revenue and police officials insisted that the body be taken through the alternative route but they refused to accept it.
“On Saturday, they deliberately tried to take the body through the pathway. Scuffle ensued when we tried to stop them, forcing us to use mild force,” a police official said.
Subsequently, the police held 69 villagers, including 22 women.
The police recovered the body and sent it to the mortuary in Mohan Kumaramangalam Medical College Hospital, Salem.
When contacted, the District Collector-in-charge, G Senguttuvan, said, “The Revenue Divisional Officer and police officials are holding talks with them to settle the issue.”