SALEM: Mild tension prevailed around midnight on Saturday, when the body of Palani, the vicitim of the Karnataka Forest Department’s firing, arrived at his native village, Chettipatti.
A large crowd from neighbouring villages had assembled to witness the last rites. Around 11.35 pm, when the body was brought by the Tamil Nadu Police, the angry crowd raised slogans against the Karnataka Forest Department personnel. They demanded the arrest of Vasudeva Moorthy, assistant conservator of M M Hills. The people said they would not allow the body to be cremated till Vasudeva Moorthy was arrested.
Local representatives of political parties such as VCK, DK and PMK engaged in a heated argument with the police.
Police told the people that the Karnataka Police had booked cases on Tamil villagers for ransacking their check post and the forest range office. They said about fifty people figured in the FIR, and if police was to discharge its duty, those named in the FIR would have to be arrested.
Salem DIG V Kulkarni, Salem SP R Sakthivel, and Mettur RDO Anish Shekar were present and interacted with the people. Talks was held with the community elders and local leaders, who in turn pacified the people.
Around 12.20 am the body was finally taken into the village and the cremation ended around 3 am on Sunday.
An uneasy calm enveloped the village even as police maintained vigil. Bus services to M M Hills and Mysore resumed on Sunday morning. In the evening, the focus shifted to Mettur where Nam Tamilar Party chief organiser Seeman was scheduled to hold a public meeting. Earlier, he addressed the press at Salem, where he said, Karnataka officials have expressed their bitterness against the Tamils.
For even minor reasons Tamils in Karnataka are attacked and theatres screening Tamil films are vandalised. Tamils will not suffer for long and the Karnataka government and the people of the State should maintain patience.
Ramadoss calls for relief, job
Chennai: Pattali Makkal Katchi supremo S Ramadoss on Sunday demanded action against the Karnataka forest official allegedly responsible for the death of a Tamil youth in a shoot-out on October 21. In a statement, Ramadoss alleged that Palani was fishing in the Cauvery river when he was gunned down by the personnel of the Karnataka forest department. The PMK leader also appealed to the two states to provide government job to a member of the victim’s family.