The Inspector General of Police (IGP, South Zone) has submitted a report before the Madras High Court bench here stating that 21 murders, 8 accidental deaths, 29 riots and 210 incidents of stone pelting were reported while marking the birth and death anniversaries of politicians and freedom fighters in the southern districts of Tamil Nadu from 2010 to 2012.
In his report, the IGP submitted that public and private properties worth more than Rs 2 crore were damaged over the three years. Justice N. Kirubakaran had directed the State police to submit the report while hearing the plea of S. Sivakumar, Ramanathapuram district secretary of ‘Tamil Puligal’, a dalit outfit.
In his petition, Mr. Sivakumar had sought a direction to the police to permit caste outfits and dalits to visit the Ondi Veeran Memorial in Nerkattan Sevvayal village in Tirunelveli district and pay homage to the freedom fighter on August 2013.
The superintendent of police, Tirunelveli had passed an order prohibiting caste groups from visiting the memorial, he claimed in his petition.
According to the petitioner, around 35000 people belonging to the dalit community visited the memorial last year, but there was no disturbance to public peace.
The petitioner further sought police protection for the leaders of caste outfits and dalits who visited the memorial.
Last week, Justice Kirubakaran directed the Director General of Police to submit a report on death, damages to public property, injuries and disturbance to public peace that occurred while marking the birth and death anniversaries of politicians and freedom fighters in recent years.
The report said 336 persons were injured in clashes on anniversary dates from 2010 to 2013. Most of the violence, including murder, was reported from Ramanathapuram district, where properties worth Rs 1.72 crore were damaged in 2011 alone, according to the report.
Justice Kirubakaran has reserved his judgement in the case.