The Madras High Court Bench here has said that the Virudhunagar District Legal Services Authority could conduct legal aid and literacy programmes in W. Puthupatti near Watrap in order to end hostility between people belonging to Parayar and Pallar communities, both Scheduled Castes.

Disposing of a public interest litigation petition filed by a lawyer, Justices R. Banumathi and S. Nagamuthu said: “Going by the serious allegations made in the affidavit, we are of the view that it would be in the interest of the public… to involve the District Legal Services Authority in this matter.”

“The Legal Services Authority, in co-ordination with the Government officials such as the Collector, Superintendent of Police and even the higher officials will look into the grievances… and take effective steps to bring about cordiality and peace between these two communities in the village.”

The judges directed the petitioner, B. Stalin, to make a representation in this regard to the District Legal Services Authority which in turn was expected to conduct literacy programmes as required under Sections 7(2)(b) and 8 of the Legal Services Authority Act, 1987 in consultation with the State Legal Services Authority.

Earlier, petitioner's counsel P. Rathinam stated that there were about 1,000 families, mostly Christians, belonging to Pallar community and 250 families, mostly Hindus, belonging to Parayar community in W. Puthupatti. There have been tensions between these two communities for the last 25 years.

In 1988, people belonging to these communities clashed near a cinema house at Watrap.

The next day, a person belonging to Parayar community was murdered. Another person belonging to the same community was killed in 1990.

Thereafter in 1993, a girl belonging to the community was killed for marrying a Pallar youth.

These incidents were followed by a spate of murders in 1999 and 2000 and a person belonging to a Pallar community was killed while he was travelling in a mini bus on July 25, 2010. A week thereafter, another person was killed in a country bomb attack. Subsequently, there were more than three violent incidents.

“This unending hostility is spreading in the absence of proper and effective check. The State administration is not adequately sensitising the police and revenue officials to handle the problems with a humanitarian approach… No positive action has been taken by the State Government so far,” the counsel alleged.