They say attack could have been averted by police

C. Ravi lost in the mob fury what is most essential for his livelihood – a stock of teakwood.

The carpenter could save his wife and five daughters as they hid behind the house. “But, the teakwood is gone and I have to start afresh, hopefully, with some assistance from the Government,” he said.

As most of the men had gone to Bangalore, Tiruppur and other neighbouring districts for employment, aged parents and women and children had to face the brunt of the attack from a mob that targeted Dalit houses in Natham Colony and two nearby habitations on Wednesday.

When the mob started looting the houses before setting them alight, many women fled with their children to nearby agriculture fields and relatives’ houses that were farther away.

Poda Palanisamy, a former naxalite, alleged that in spite of prior information to the police that the majority communities had planned the attack, only a handful of police personnel were initially deployed in the vicinity.

If the intelligence input had been acted upon properly, the attack could even have been averted, he lamented.

S. Kaliappan, who runs a petty shop in Bangalore, said the mob took away 21 sovereigns of gold jewels and Rs.2 lakh cash kept in the almirah for his daughter’s marriage slated to be held early next year.

K. Selvam, priest of the Kodagari Amman Temple, said that gold jewels weighing 4.5 kg and silver ornaments weighing 15 kg kept in two big boxes in his house were taken away by the mob before the house was torched. The jewels and ornaments were offered by devotees, he said.

Most of the families lost their documents including educational certificates, ration cards and land documents in the fire.