The body of E. Ilavarsan, the Dalit youth whose love marriage [to a Vanniyar girl], separation and eventual death sparked an outrage and debate on the reach of caste politics in the State, was laid to rest at Natham Colony in Dharmapuri on Sunday in the presence of thousands of people.
There were complaints of an excessive police clampdown in the region that prevented many political leaders from attending the funeral.
Amid tight security, family members, leaders and cadre of political and social outfits participated in the funeral in the evening, which passed off peacefully.
The body was taken for burial in the nearby 30-cent land bought for this purpose a few days ago. Over 3,000 persons, including women and children, took part in the funeral.
Police personnel were deployed at vantage points leading to Naikkankottai from Dharmapuri. Vehicle check was tightened at Sappanipatti bordering Krishnagiri, and Thoppur bordering Salem district. Security personnel even checked buses at Morappur – Tirupattur road and enquired passengers going to Natham Colony.
“Murder, not suicide”
Organisations such as Puthiya Jananayaka Thozhilalar Munnani, Vivasayikal Viduthalai Munnani, Makkal Kalai Ilakkiya Kazhagam distributed handbills claiming that Ilavarasan was murdered and had not committed suicide.
The handbills also claimed that casteist forces gained momentum only after Naxal activities started fading in the region.
Leaders and cadre of Viduthalai Chiruthaikal Katchi, Communist Party of India (Marxist), and Bahujan Samaj Party participated in the funeral.