A 45-year-old caste-Hindu man died in the middle of a clash with a group of Dalits near Thally lake on Tuesday evening over a Dalit youth eloping with a caste-Hindu minor girl.

Police sources said the youth, T. Manjunath (23) of Thallikothanur, had on Sunday eloped with the girl who was aged about 14 years and belonging to the same village.

The girl’s relatives alleged that the boy took the girl to Maravadi in Karnataka. The girl’s relatives went to Maravadi and brought her back on Tuesday. When they were nearing Thally lake, a group of Dalits clashed with them.

In a complaint that the girls’ relatives lodged with the police, it was said that her paternal uncle V. Madhesh (45) fell unconscious during the clash and was rushed to the Denkanikottai Government Hospital and later referred to the Government Taluk Hospital in Hosur. On reaching Hosur GH around 8 p.m., the doctors’ pronounced him as brought dead.

A post-mortem would be conducted on Wednesday morning. In the face of allegations by the relatives that he died of blows sustained in the clash, police said only the post-mortem report would reveal the actual cause of death.

P. Vijaykumar, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Denkanikottai said that the Thally police have registered a case and are investigating.