Madurai, May 2, 2011
Police warn of stern action against untouchability
Lathi wielding policemen moving around in the deserted streets of
Villoor, near Madurai on Monday, after an incident where a Dalit youth
was attacked by caste Hindus following which they were arrested.
Photo: S. James
The Hindu Lathi wielding policemen moving around in the deserted
streets of Villoor, near Madurai on Monday, after an incident where a
Dalit youth was attacked by caste Hindus following which they were
arrested. Photo: S. James
Three persons were seriously injured when police opened fire in a
village in Kallupatti Taluk, about 40 km from Madurai following
clashes between two communities, authorities said today.
Police said the clash in Villoor village, in which 100 people were
arrested yesterday, ensued after people belonging to the dominant
community had seized the two-wheeler of Thanga Pandian, a Dalit
resident of the village who had rode through the street where members
of the dominant community resided.
The members of the dominant community had banned the Dalits, living in
the neighbouring street, from riding on two wheelers or wearing
slippers while walking in their street, police said.
Five persons of the dominant community were arrested in connection
with the seizure of Mr. Thanga Pandian's vehicle.
However, even as the Madurai SP Asra Garg was holding peace talks at
the police station with the local people belonging to both the
communities, people belonging to dominant community pelted stones,
demanding the release of the five arrested persons, injuring some
policemen, officials said.
The cars of the SP and DSPs were also damaged in the stone pelting, they said.
When the two groups clashed again, the situation "went out of control"
and the efforts of the police to quell the violence by lathi charge
and deploying tear gas shells were in vain, they said.
The police subsequently opened fire, in which three were seriously
injured and 15 others suffered minor injuries, they said. Hundred
persons were also arrested, they said.
SP Asra Garg today warned that severe action would be taken against
those committing atrocities against Dalits.
The situation is under control at Villoor village after police has
been deployed, officials said.
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