Southern Tamil Nadu tense again following statue desecration

May 9th, 2008 - 7:40 am ICT by admin  

Madurai (Tamil Nadu), May 8 (IANS) The Tamil Nadu police arrested at least 50 people and resorted to cane charge to quell angry reactions following the desecration of a statue of a late Thevar leader near here Thursday. People belonging to the Mukkulathor community were angry over the desecration of a statue of their icon and freedom-fighter Pon Muthuramalinga Thevar.

The incident took place within 10 kilometres of Uthapuram where upper caste Hindus were on the warpath fearing attacks from “militant Dalits” after the “wall-of-shame”, an age-old structure dividing castes, was partly pulled down by the district administration under police protection Tuesday.

The move was aimed at helping Dalits access basic amenities like primary healthcare and motorable roads.

Top police officials said on phone from capital Chennai, 400 km to the north, that additional forces had been rushed to the region to prevent any further untoward incidents.

District Collector S.S. Jawahar told IANS there was no cause for any apprehension as the administration had “plugged all loopholes of trouble”.

This was the second time in three days that southern Tamil Nadu witnessed tension.

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