Tamil Nadu Untouchability Eradication Front of Communist Party of India (Marxist) organised a district-wide demonstration here to condemn Chettipulam violence and demanded immediate administrative intervention to resolve the issue.

Kovai Subramaniam, Secretary, Vedaranyam block of CPI (M), demanded the arrest of those who instigated violence and also sought action against the Panchayat President and Vice-Chairperson of Chettipulam. ''The silence that prevailed in an unjust social order was reminiscent of the ‘silence of the grave’,'’ and demanded it be broken.

A. V. Murugayan, District Secretary, CPI (M) questioned the ideological commitment of Dravidian Parties to the Dalits and the silence of the state government on the Chettipulam issue.

"Set up Samathuvapurams, Samathuvamaidhanams (Community graveyards) or name streets after Periyar, but implement existing laws that are meant to protect the entitlements of the Dalits," said Stalin, district functionary of Democratic Youth Federadation of India.

While the Party acknowledged the efforts of the district administration, some speakers criticised a section of the Police administration in dealing with the issue.

Marimuthu, MLA, Nagapattinam, stated that the violence was organised. He questioned the sincerity of the Police administration and efficiency of the intelligence sources. "The 1.5 km stretch leading to the temple was blocked with logs and pipes. It was planned violence and the Police feigns ignorance of all this," he said.

G. Ramakrishnan, member, CPI (M) Central Committee, stated that the party was not against caste Hindus. "We are not casteists, nor are we exclusive to any particular community. We question the non-interference of the government," he said.

Presiding over the protest demonstration, Naagai Maali, Convenor, Tamil Nadu Untouchability Eradication Front called upon the district administration for the resolution of the issue by October 30. Efforts should be taken to ensure Dalits entry into the temple, failing which a massive agitation would be organised on November 2, Mr.Maali said. Kalai Selvi, District Secretary, All India Democratic Women’s Association was among the speakers.

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