40 Hurt, 15 Houses, Temple Car Torched in Villupuram

A major caste clash broke out at Villupuram in which several huts were torched and police personnel, including the DSP were injured.

Published: 16th August 2015 04:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th August 2015 04:37 AM   |  A+A-


VILLUPURAM: Even before the Independence Day festivities were over, a major caste clash broke out at Villupuram late on Saturday in which several huts were torched, many were attacked and police personnel, including the district superintendent of police, were injured.

The clash began around 8.30 pm over Dalits taking their temple car procession through the main road in Seshasamudram in Sankarapuram Taluk - a Vanniyar area. The issue has been simmering for at least three years, said sources, adding that the procession was undertaken this time after obtaining the nod from the district collector.

On Saturday night, an unidentified person torched the temple car, which was kept near the Mariamman temple for the procession on Sunday. That triggered the initial round of clash between Vanniyars and Dalits.

Police suspect that it could have been done by a group of Vanniyars who were returning from a protest organised by the Pattali Makkal Katchi at Kallakkurichi seeking prohibition, led by its Chief Ministerial candidate and Dharmapuri MP, Anbumani Ramadoss.

Soon after the first incident, a gang of Vanniayars allegedly entered the Dalit hamlet and set many huts afire and attacked the people there. At least 15 huts and houses were torched, and around 40 people injured.

After being alerted about the incident, a police force led by district SP K S Narendran Nair rushed to Seshasamudram to bring the situation under control. However, according to sources, the official and his party were welcomed by a hail of stones, injuring many, including the SP.

The situation was so tense that the police had to fire to the air many times to even gain entry into the area, as the Vanniyar community members refused to let the personnel pass through their stronghold to reach the Dalit hamlet. There were fire tenders and personnel ready to go in to douse the fire, but had to be stationary, as the situation continued to remain tense.

According to sources, it finally took a rain that continued for nearly an hour to put out the fire, and also calm the situation. Additional police force, including armed police, have been rushed to the spot. At the time of going to print, officials were considering all options if the mob violence continued.

At a meeting held at Sankarapuram taluk office late on Saturday night, it was decided to organise the car procession on Sunday.


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