Tension in village over inter-caste marriage

Updated - July 01, 2015 08:26 am IST

Published - July 01, 2015 12:00 am IST - SALEM:

Police deployed at Somampatti near Vazhapadi in Salem district on Tuesday.PHOTO: E. LAKSHMI NARAYANAN

Police deployed at Somampatti near Vazhapadi in Salem district on Tuesday.PHOTO: E. LAKSHMI NARAYANAN

Tension prevailed in Somampatti village near Vazhappadi town in the wee hours of Monday night, when a group of caste Hindus indulged in violence and damaged a few houses belonging to Dalits.

The caste Hindus were protesting against the marriage of Dalit youth P. Saravanan (29) of Somampatti village with M. Vanniapriya (25) of caste Hindu community of Vilaripalayam village.

Saravanan, an MBA graduate and Vanniapriya, with a Masters in English, and employed in a private school, got married in a sub-registrar’s office in Rasipuram in March 2014, without the knowledge of their parents, but lived with his parents.

According to police, the couple took refuge in the Karipatti police station seeking protection on Monday.

Police officials summoned the parents and held negotiations.

Vanniapriya remained stubborn and refused to go with her parents even after prolonged talks. Enraged by this, her relatives allegedly went to Somampatti around midnight and indulged in arson. They reportedly set fire to a hut and hurled stones on the tiled houses damaging five of them.

Two residents of the village – Arumugam (60) and Pappathi (61) – suffered injuries in the stone pelting incident and were admitted to the Government Mohan Kumaramangalam Hospital for treatment.

On receiving information, G. Subbulakshmi, Superintendent of Police, rushed to Somampatti in the small hours of the day and monitored the situation. Vidya Jayant Kulkarni, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Salem range, also visited the village.

Police camping in village

A strong police force, led by J. Loganathan, Superintendent of Police, Dharmapuri district; K. Veeramani, Additional SP, Salem with four Deputy SPs, and seven inspectors are camping in the village. The police are closely monitoring the situation, a senior police officer said.

The Vazhappadi police registered cases against 30 people of Vilaripalayam village for the violence and arrested nine of them on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the police produced Saravanan and Vanniapriya in the Judicial Magistrate Court 6. As the couple expressed their desire to live together, they were set free by the magistrate.

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