In the evening the agitation was called off on MLA’s persuasion

After calling off their fast on Thursday evening, the Dalits of Natham, Kondampatti and Anna Nagar colonies resumed it late in the night, insisting that those who were behind the November 7 attack on their colonies be arrested immediately.

The Dalits had called off the fast for a while after MLA Dilli Babu persuaded them to do so, saying such an agitation within their colonies would not yield results. He asked to meet officials and make appropriate representations.

The residents, however, decided later that they would have to continue with the fast in their colonies to draw the attention of the authorities to their demand. The children, however, were sent to schools and colleges. One of the girls, Mangammal (20) of Natham Colony, who was on fast on Thursday was now in a critical condition at the Salem Super Speciality Hospital.

Dean of the hospital R. Vallinayagam told The Hindu that she showed symptoms of dengue and her condition was being monitored in the intensive care unit. P. Palanisamy, a former Naxalite from the colony, said the girl was traumatised after witnessing the attack on the colonies.

Since Thursday afternoon, 42 fasting Dalits — 25 from Natham and 17 from Kondampatti colonies were admitted to the Dharmapuri Government Medical College Hospital after they complained of uneasiness.

Revenue Divisional Officer P. Subramani met the agitating Dalits and told them that the administration was waiting for government approval for rehabilitation measures.