Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) leader Thol Thirumavalavan has criticised the arrest of six Dalit youths of Natham Colony in Dharmapuri on Friday and rubbished claims that they were trained by Naxalites.

Speaking to The Hindu on the phone Saturday, he said the arrest was part of a police ploy to ensure that the death anniversary of Elavarasan — a Dalit youth who allegedly committed suicide last year after a long legal battle surrounding his love affair with a Vanniyar girl — was not observed on July 4.

“Several events have been planned by the villagers to mark the anniversary. This is a ploy to terrorise the youth and ensure that such events do not take place,” he said.

All six persons arrested were VCK supporters, he said, adding the police claim that they had carried explosives was fictional.

“This will not bog us down. I am visiting Natham Colony on July 4 to pay respects at the memorial. Let them arrest me if they want,” Mr. Thirumavalavan said, demanding that the prohibitory orders imposed by the district administration on the area be revoked.

Meanwhile, lauding the police for the swift action, PMK founder S. Ramadoss said in a statement that those who instigated the youth to take to violence should also arrested. The target of the weapons seized seemed to be PMK and Vanniyar leaders, he said. Such incidents should not be dismissed as mere retaliatory acts, and the Naxal angle should be viewed with all seriousness, he said.

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