The funeral of Dalit youth Ilavarasan passed off peacefully on Sunday evening primarily due to intensive security check apparatus put in place by the Dharmapuri police.
Right from early morning relatives and well wishers from adjacent village began arriving at Natham Colony to pay homage to Ilavarsan. However, relatives coming from the neighbouring Vellore and Krishnagiri districts were refused entry citing the prohibitory orders that was clamped since July 4 when Ilavarsan was found dead. This led to tension warranting the intervention of Dharmapuri Superintendent of Police Asra Garg.
Barricades were erected at the entrance Natham Colony. Entry of visitors was permitted only after intensive frisking and security checks. Even journalists who had arrived to cover the funeral were subjected to security checks.
Police even went to the extent of asking some villagers to produce identity cards to substantiate their claims that they were residents of the village.
Harur MLA P Dilli Babu, who is a native of Dharmapuri district, too was not allowed to travel to Natham Colony in his car. The Marxist legislator had to get down and walk to the funeral site.
A large contingent of police was deployed along both the Dharmapuri-Naickankottai and Tirupattur-Naickankottai routes.
Six lawyers Rajnikanth Dhamayanthi, Senkodi, Ravindran, Kubendran and Manoharan, who had been extending moral and legal support to Ilavarasan’s family members, could not make it to the funeral as they were detained on their way to Natham Colony.
The six lawyers were arrested on July 11 when they staged a road roko demanding entry into the mortuary of the Government Dharmapuri Medical College Hospital where Ilavarasan’s body was kept.
Although they had obtained bail from the Madras High Court, they could not be released from the prison on Saturday due toa clerical error in the court order copy.
On Sunday they were detained at Thoppur in the morning after they refused to heed instructions from police not to visit Natham Colony. They were released late in the evening.