Dalits stage protest as man “attacked” by caste Hindus dies

They allege police inaction in the murder of V. Palanikumar at Vagaikulam

November 02, 2016 12:00 am | Updated December 02, 2016 12:55 pm IST - MADURAI:

A section of Dalits from Vagaikulam staging a protest condemning police “inaction” on the death of a Dalit, who was allegedly hacked by caste Hindus on Sunday.— Photo: G. Moorthy

A section of Dalits from Vagaikulam staging a protest condemning police “inaction” on the death of a Dalit, who was allegedly hacked by caste Hindus on Sunday.— Photo: G. Moorthy

People belonging to Devendra Kula Velalar community from Vagaikulam village here staged a road roko near Government Rajaji Hospital on Tuesday alleging police inaction over the murder of V. Palanikumar, who was allegedly attacked by a group of caste Hindus in the village on Sunday.

Palanikumar, who is survived by his wife and two children — aged four and two years —, succumbed to the injuries at the hospital on Tuesday.

Alleging that the police erred by according permission to Thevar jayanthi celebrations in the village in the first place and had also failed to arrest the prime accused in the attack, the protesters refused to allow post-mortem of the body and blocked the traffic on Panagal Road for nearly one hour.

“Neither Thevar jayanthi nor Immanuel Sekaran death anniversary was observed in the village and there were no communal issues until last year. Permission granted by local police for caste Hindus to observe Thevar jayanthi this year had resulted in the violence,” alleged S. Saravana Pandian, an advocate and State organiser of Marutham Makkal Kazhagam.

The protesters alleged that a group of caste Hindu youngsters entered the streets of Devendra Kula Vellalars in the village on Sunday afternoon and created a ruckus, which quickly escalated into violence. They also blamed the police of failure to arrest A. Vasudevan and M. Rajaprabhu, whom they alleged were the key accused in the attack. They also demanded immediate release of compensation for the family of the deceased. Later, senior police officials, including Deputy Superintendent of Police (Samayanallur) S. Vanitha, informed the protesters that the suspect Vasudevan had been arrested and Rajaprabhu would be arrested soon. After assurance by Ms. Vanitha that steps had been initiated to provide compensation for the victim’s family, the villagers gave up the protest. The post-mortem could not be done on Tuesday.

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