Tension prevailed for a few hours at Gandhi Nagar here when authorities demolished a wall allegedly raised by caste Hindus to prevent Dalits residing at Ambedkar Colony from accessing the 25-feet road that was supposed to link both settlements. A temple constructed adjoining the wall was also razed.
Residents of Ambedkar Colony said that the wall was built 10 years ago to prevent Dalits from entering Gandhi Nagar, where the caste Hindus were residing.
Kanchana, who constructed a house last year in Ambedkar Colony, had been fighting for the demolition of the wall since it was right in front of her residence. She had been petitioning the Collector and Superintendent of Police since 2011.
According to the residents, last year, the caste Hindus installed a Vinayakar idol in a small shed and six months ago they built a small temple exactly on the periphery of the colony.
Revenue officials and municipal authorities confirmed that the temple and the wall had encroached a public path. They recommended to the district administration to demolish the wall.
A Kumar, district deputy president of Eradication of Untouchability Front, who has been fighting for this issue since 2011, welcomed the demolition of the wall.
Speaking to Express, Kumar said: “The wall was proof that untouchability and caste discrimination existed in Dharmapuri. Due to sustained efforts, the wall has been demolished. The removal of the wall has ensured that Dalits are also part of society.”
Residents of Gandhi Nagar and some Hindu outfits opposed the demolition of the wall and the temple, following which police mobilised more reinforcements to keep the situation under control.