Madurai

Protest demanding demolition of wall continues

Cadre of Aadhi Tamilar Peravai and Tamil Puligal Katchi staging a protest in Madurai on Wednesday.

Cadre of Aadhi Tamilar Peravai and Tamil Puligal Katchi staging a protest in Madurai on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: S. James

Collector to hold talks with both sections today for solution

Members of the Arunthathiyar community on Wednesday refused to collect the body of K. Palanichamy (43), who died while staging a protest demanding demolition of the wall at Santhaiyur.

Over 120 women, men and children took part in a protest outside the Government Rajaji Hospital demanding demolition of the wall that created tension between Arunthathiyars and Paraiyars, both belonging to the Scheduled Castes. Protests continued at Santhaiyur also as 250 people gathered there to condemn the death. All protesters wore black badges.

The wall was constructed around a temple in a poramboke land by the Paraiyar community in 2017. While the community said that the wall was built to provide a fence for the temple, the Arunthathiyar community demanded its immediate demolition as it denied them access to the other side. While staging a protest on March 31 against lack of any action by the government and the district administration, Palanichamy died.

On Wednesday, the protest began at around 9 a.m. and gathered momentum. Leaders from Dalit parties like Adi Tamilar Katchi, Aadhi Tamilar Peravai, Tamil Puligal Katchi, Puratchi Puligal Katchi, Parayar Puli Padai, Dravida Kazhagam and Periyar Dravida Kazhagam represented the demands of the public to the Collector. The Collector said that he would hold talks with the two communities on April 5 and decide by 3 p.m regarding the demolition.

G. Jakkaian, founder-president of Adi Tamilar Katchi said “the Collector should take blame for the death because he has not initiated any action regarding the issue of an ignored population. He must sanction demolition of the wall as it would be a fitting tribute to Guruswamy since he died for this cause. The Collector should provide relief to the family as the victim is survived by his wife and three children,” he said.

He said that Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi had a crucial role in bringing peace to the village but its leader Thol. Thirumavalavan had not supported the Arunthathiyar cause thus making him an unfit Dalit leader.

Decision regarding further protests and collection of the body would be based on the Collector’s decision tomorrow.

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Printable version | Mar 28, 2020 11:27:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/protest-demanding-demolition-of-wall-continues/article23440155.ece

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