KRISHNAGIRI: Cremation of a 70-year-old ST man in land owned by a caste Hindu close to a settlement of members of Scheduled Caste (SC) community sparked a row between the two, at Nayakkankottai village in Anchetti on Sunday afternoon.
According to sources, 30 Arunthathiyar families live in Nayakkankottai which comes under the Kottayur panchayat. Rangappa belonging to Scheduled Tribe died on Saturday and was cremated in farmland.
Rangappa, who lived in Beernapalli village, owned a piece of land in Nayakkankottai, a village nearby, and had sold it to Kalia Gowda, a caste Hindu. Since he was cremated in the land which is situated close to an SC settlement, the latter objected to it. "How can they cremate a body in the open when so many people are living nearby?", wondered an SC resident. Upon information about the incident, Kottayur VAO (in-charge) Harish and Anchetti police inspector Kumaran rushed to the spot.
Harish said, "Kalia Gowda had left a small portion of the land open and fenced the rest, He agreed to allow Rangappa to be cremated in the land. This made the SC people think that the body was being cremated in government land."
While the VAO said Kalia Gowda allowed the cremation in the land that he bought from Rangappa, Anchetti police inspector Kumaran said Rangappa had not sold a portion of land where his ancestors were buried or cremated earlier. "That's why his body was cremated in that small piece of land. The issue was resolved amicably."
Both Harish and Kumaram said Beernapalli villagers gave a petition to the revenue department seeking a burial ground for their village. "In the past, people used to bury their dead in a nearby stream or the forest areas. But it stopped as the forest department objected to it," Harish said.