‘Residents attacked for backing a secular candidate’

The attack on the Scheduled Castes in Ponparappi village was pre-planned, and even children were not spared, said the executive director of Evidence, A. Kathir, here on Saturday.

After the violence broke out on April 18 — the polling day — a fact-finding team visited the village on April 19.

Mr. Kathir said it came to light while interacting with the villagers that members of an intermediate community were irked because people in Ponparappi and surrounding hamlets were planning to cast their vote for the secular candidate.

The supporters of VCK chief Thol. Thirumavalavan canvassed for his ‘Pot’ symbol. Just because a majority of the villagers cast their votes for the ‘Pot’ symbol, the youth targeted the village around noon on polling day.

Twenty of the 100 dwellings which were attacked were totally destroyed. The attackers had sufficient knowledge about VCK supporters and targeted them. A finger of Anbalagan, 62, which had the indelible ink mark, was damaged, Mr. Kathir said. Another villager, Govindaraj, too suffered injuries. “They [attackers] threatened that there would be dire consequences if I went out to vote,” he was quoted as saying.

Manimegalai, who suffered head injuries, said she was subjected to vile abuse.

Mr. Kathir said the government school in the village, which had three booths (282, 283 and 284), had 690 voters from the SC village. As the polling was brisk and around 50 % cast votes around noon, the opponents were frustrated and planned to terrorise by launching an attack.

The Ariyalur SP said the police arrested four persons and sent eight others to remand in judicial custody, but Mr. Kathir demanded that the government detain them under the Goondas Act.

The dwellings should be repaired and all the injured should be given a compensation of ₹5 lakh each.

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Printable version | May 7, 2021 1:20:05 AM |

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