MADURAI: Tension continued in Keelakuilkudi near here for the third day on Tuesday when Arunthathiyar community men refused to perform funeral rituals for a Caste Hindu family to protest denial of worship rights in the village temple.
Following this, the Caste Hindu youths (Kallar) allegedly attacked an Arunthathiyar community member P Pandi Kumar, a sweeper, while he was on his way to Nagamalai Pudukottai. The Arunthathiyars later relented and performed the rituals for the funeral after caste Hindus issued a veiled threat that they may restrict access to the burial land used by Arunthathiyars as it belonged to the family of the deceased caste Hindu.
The problem began after Arunthathiyars were asked not to enter the local temple during the Margazhi month. “Though we were allowed access until last year during Margazhi when we go for pilgrimage to Palani, the Caste Hindus denied the rights this year,” A Rajesh Kumar, a youngster from the community alleged.
To avoid trouble, the Arunthathiyars attempted to conduct rituals at Kalliamman temple on their street with loud speakers, but the Caste Hindus prevented their efforts on Sunday in which the tile roof of a nearby shed was damaged.
Even after the police booked case against 13 Caste Hindus in connection with this incident on Sunday, they allegedly did not stop their assault against Arunthathiyar community members.
On the same night a group of caste Hindus allegedly damaged the electricity metre and other equipment in a common bathroom provided for Arunthathiyars outside the village.
Police said a meeting is planned with the villagers by the Revenue Department officials on Wednesday to arrive at a solution.