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Tension in Salem hamlets

Temple ritual triggers trouble in Belur; caste clash in Valapadi

Published: 18th January 2013 08:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th January 2013 08:34 AM   |  A+A-

A day after separate cases of violence hit the area, Thursday continued to be tense for residents of Belur and Valapadi towns here.

The first incident was reported on Wednesday night at Belur, where people from the  Nayakkar community men had tied their bulls in the vicinity of the Mariammal temple to perform certain rituals to compensate for the those normally performed as part of the banned ‘Eruthattam’ sport.

Meanwhile, two men from the Adi Dravidar Colony reached the temple area on their motorcycle and upon finding the road blocked by the bulls, reportedly picked a quarrel with Madhavaraj (52), a member of the Nayakkar community.

The duo subsequently left the area and returned with around 30 others who questioned Madhavaraj and others from his community about why they were preventing people from using the road.

An argument snowballed into a clash during which the mob ransacked shops and damaged street lamps and water pipes.

Before the violence could escalate further, a large number of police and revenue officials swooped down on the area and initiated peace talks in the presence of members of both groups Complaints were received from both sides and cases were registered.

According to Madhavaraj’s complaint, a large number of persons led by one Koothan came in support of the two youth and attacked him with logs.  Based on his complaint, the Valapadi Police booked cases against 12 persons under sections 147, 148, 447, 294,323 (3) of the TNPPD Act.  Similarly, based on a counter complaint from  Koothan, cases were booked against seven persons under sections 324,147, 294B, 323, 324 and 504/2.

On Thursday, shopkeepers in the area downed shutters to protest the damage they suffered as a result of the clash. Latter, they blocked a road, demanding arrest of those from the mob who allegedly indulged in arson. A heavy police bandobust has been deployed in the area.

Mild lathicharge

Meanwhile, at Valapadi, the police resorted to a mild lathicharge to disperse a mob that pelted stones on shops on Thursday morning in continuation of a clash that broke out between youth from the Vanniyar and Dalit communities the previous night.

The incident was a case of mistaken identity, police sources said, detailing that a group of Dalit youth had attacked a man from the Vanniyar community, Prabu Deva, mistaking him for another person who had allegedly attacked a person from their group on Wednesday night over the course of a skirmish they were involved in while coming out of a cinema theatre at Indira Nagar Colony, a predominantly Dalit area. In sequel to this incident, shops were damaged in Santhaipettai area.

The lathicharge occurred when around 500 residents of Sandhaipettai took out a procession at Valapadi during which they allegedly damaged a petty shop and also pelted stones at the police personnel who were trying to rein them in.

A large pose of police was deployed in the area and peace talks were also initiated.

Based on complaints from both sides (Prabudeva of Sandhapettai and Arun Kumar of Indira Nagar), cases were booked against 20 persons from both sides under sections 147, 148, 394, 294, 506/2 of the IPC and the TNPPD Act.



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