Hundreds of Communist Party of India (Marxist) workers and volunteers of the Tamil Nadu Untouchability Eradication Front (TNUEF), Adi Thamizhar Peravai (ATP), Democratic Youth Federation of India and Dalits of Uthapuram were arrested at three different places in the district during their bid to enter Muthalamman temple in the village on Monday.
Led by CPI(M) State unit secretary G. Ramakrishnan, and N. Nanmaran, MLA, they were arrested within city limits. Apprehending a law and order problem, the administration had clamped prohibitory orders from Friday midnight in Uthapuram village.
Mr. Ramakrishnan said that the government, which should guarantee the Constitutional right of the Scheduled Castes to worship at any temple, was preventing them from entering the temple, thereby practising untouchability. “The temple entry protest was announced by the TNUEF in December and the State machinery, instead of ensuring it, is preventing us. It is depressing to see this in the land of social reformer E.V.R. Periyar.”