Tamil Nadu

Six detained for vandalising a church cemetery in Udaiyaarpatti

Six of the eight accused who have been arrested in connection with vandalising 86 tombs in a cemetery under the Sacred Heart Church at Udaiyaarpatti here on October 16, have been detained under the National Security Act (NSA).

S. Udaiyaar, 53, Tirunelveli district president of the Hindu Makkal Katchi from Vannarpet here; K. Muruganantham, 48, of Veeravanallur; T. Sankar, 52, of Veeravanallur; R. Sabarirajan, alias, Ayyappan, 50, of Murappanaadu in Thoothukudi district; Senthamarai, 42, of Palayamkottai; and A. Kanthan, 38, of Tirunelveli, have been detained under the Act.

The Bishop of Palayamkottai RC Diocese, S. Antonysamy, accompanied by the office-bearers of various political parties, including the ruling AIADMK, had submitted a petition to Collector Shilpa Prabhakar Satish on October 18, seeking stringent action against the culprits involved in the desecration of the tombs with the objective of triggering clashes between different religious groups.

Subsequently, the six persons were detained. The group of men, armed with crowbars, hammers and other weapons, entered the cemetery at Manimurtheeswaram on the night of October 16, and smashed the granite crosses on 86 tombs and crushed the polished granite slabs on the tombs.

The matter triggered tension in the Udaiyaarpatti area when it came to light on Sunday morning. Parishioners of the Sacred Heart Church blocked vehicular traffic on the North Bypass Road near the church.

Based on a complaint by Joseph Michael Selvaraj, the parish priest of the Church, the Thatchanallur police commenced an investigation. The investigation reportedly revealed that it was the handiwork of Udaiyaar and seven others.

The police registered case against them under Sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting armed with deadly weapon), 297 (trespassing on burial places), 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees), 294 B (sings, recites or utters any obscene songs or words in public places), 353 A (assaults or uses criminal force to deter public servant) and 506 (2) (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code against Udaiyaar, K. Muruganantham, 48, of Veeravanallur; T. Sankar, 52, of Veeravanallur; R. Sabari Rajan alias Ayyappan, 50, of Murappanaadu; A. Sermadurai, 43, of Tirunelveli Town; A. Kandan, 38, of Kurukkuthurai, near Tirunelveli junction; Radhakrishnan, 58, of Vannarpet; and S. Subramani alias Soda Mani, 49, of Veeravanallur.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2020 4:42:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/six-detained-for-vandalising-a-church-cemetery-in-udaiyaarpatti/article32958760.ece

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