Natham Colony in Dharmapuri district is upset at the crisis engulfing the marriage between a local Dalit youth and a caste-Hindu girl.

On Thursday, the girl, N. Divya, whose marriage with the youth Illavarasan triggered large-scale violence in the district in November last, told the Madras High Court that she would like to stay with her mother for the time being. Commenting on the development, D. Selvi, a resident of the colony, says: “We lost everything in the violence for no fault of ours. It is now unfortunate that the girl has gone with her mother.”

Over 260 houses in Natham and two other colonies – Anna Nagar and Kondampatti – were ransacked and torched by a mob after Diyva’s father committed suicide on November 7 following the marriage. New houses are being built for the affected families. But the construction of Ilavarasan’s new house is stopped because of the latest crisis.

Recounting the trauma they underwent through on November 7, the residents said that all that was left after the attack were only the clothes they wore. The houses and belongings were all gone. The residents alleged that three days prior to the girl leaving her husband’s house in Dharmapuri town (where they had relocated to avoid trouble), Naikkankottai-Sellankottai Road was busy with vehicles sporting the flag of a particular political party heading for Divya’s village Sellankottai. The couple had become a “victim of political conspiracy,” the Dalits alleged.

Natham Colony residents said they learnt that Divya’s mother N. Thenmozhi had visited the young couple at their house in the town several times with sweets and dresses. The couple were happy. But, the girl’s decision to go with the mother was unfortunate. “We do not know what made the girl take such a decision,” said a resident.

On Friday, only Divya’s paternal aunt Kalaiselvi could be found in the girl’s house at Sellankottai. Diyva’s younger brother N. Manisekar could score only 680 out of 1,200 in the Plus-Two exam because he was disturbed by his father’s suicide and the riots that followed. Now, the latest developments were delaying his college admission.

Mr. Ilavarasan, whose house was also damaged in the November 4 mob fury, told The Hindu over phone that the ‘thali’ Divya wore was forcibly removed immediately after she reached her house at Sellankottai. Mr Ilavarasan claimed he did not return to Dharmapuri after appearing in the court in Chennai on Thursday. But, he did not reveal where he was staying now.

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