The Dalits at Kattayan Street in Marakkanam Colony are trying to rebuild their lives from the ashes. They are seen picking up remains from the burnt houses. The residents were left with nothing to eat or wear. Most of them, women and children, are yet to recover from the shock.
In the clashes that erupted between the PMK activists and the Dalit residents on Thursday, 11 houses were reduced to ashes. While seven houses were burnt on Kattayan Street, four were damaged in another colony. The first help came from the local panchayat which provided the families of the area with food.
Sobia, a resident, said some of the political outfits also reached out to the residents on Friday with packaged food and water. “On Saturday, the panchayat officials served food and water. They also provided us with one sack full of rice for the seven families in the area. This was a big relief as we have lost everything in the violence,” she said.
The families are given temporary shelters in the nearby houses, which escaped the wrath of the attackers. Meanwhile, the revenue officials have assessed the damage and the report will be submitted to the government.
The policemen are keeping vigil to prevent any untoward incidents. Policemen who are deployed in good numbers, made rounds on the ECR stretch and at the nearby villages, which came under the attack of the mob. However, top police officials were tight lipped about the number of arrests in the case.
The clash reportedly erupted after the local youth questioned the PMK activists for drinking liquor in a social forestry area in Marakkanamby, spread along the East Coast Road stretch from the toll gate to the Marakkanam Junction. The PMK functionaries were on their way to participate in their annual Chitra Pournami public meeting at Mamallapuram.