Lok Sabha Election

Dalits come under attack in Ariyalur

Policemen move in to quell a tense situation in Keezhvisharam, Vellore.   | Photo Credit: C. Venkatachalapathy

At least 20 houses belonging to Dalits were damaged at Ponparappi, in Ariyalur district, after a clash broke out between members of the community and Vanniyars as polling was under way in the Chidambaram Lok Sabha constituency on Thursday.

But for this and other sporadic incidents of violence, polling in the State was by and large peaceful, with people coming out in large numbers to exercise their franchise, Director General of Police (Elections) Ashutosh Shukla said.

According to police sources, the clash was triggered after a pot, the symbol of the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), was broken by some persons in the village. While three members of the Vanniyar community suffered minor injuries, a mob went around pelting stones at houses of Dalits. VCK leader Thol. Thirumavalavan is contesting from the reserved constituency.

The sources said that some Vanniyars allegedly broke a pot near a shop in the village, irking the Dalits. An argument broke out, culminating in a scuffle in which the youth who broke the pot were injured. In retaliation, a group of Vanniyars entered the village and damaged the houses.

Inspector General of Police (Central Zone) V. Varadharaju said the the police had registered cases against both parties.

In Thenkeranoor in Kallakurichi Lok Sabha constituency, tension prevailed in a polling booth after people attacked the vehicle of a murder accused. Velu, who was charged in a murder case, was attacked by the relatives of a victim when he came to cast his vote. He was admitted to the Government General Hospital at Kallakurichi with minor injuries.

In Ambur, police resorted to a mild lathicharge to disperse supporters of two political parties. According to police sources, a group of men owing allegiance to the ruling AIADMK allegedly attacked the supporters of R. Balasubramani of the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam, when the latter entered a polling booth in B. Kasba in the afternoon. A similar clash between AIADMK and AMMK men was reported at Gudiyatham constituency, the sources said.

A CISF constable on poll duty at the Panchayat Union Primary School at Keezhvisharam in Vellore opened fire in the air to disperse two groups of party workers who came to blows in the vicinity of a polling booth.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 8:53:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/lok-sabha-2019/dalits-come-under-attack-in-ariyalur/article26880471.ece

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