Irulas want encroachments removed from their graveyards

Special Correspondent

Want community certificates to be issued to their wards immediately

Seek five acres of land as recommended by the Thangaraj Commission

VILLUPURAM: An Irula organisation has alleged some graveyards that are traditionally being used by their community in Villupuram and Cuddalore districts have been encroached upon.

The general body of the Pazhangudi Irular Padhukappu Sangam, which met here recently, said the graveyard of 50 cents at Panamalai Madura Mettupalayam in Villupuram district, and the path leading to it, had been encroached upon by the caste Hindus.

A duo from Chennai tried to grab the 25-cent graveyard at Komadipattu in Vanur block. Though a shed was allotted to the graveyard under Anna Marumalarchi Thittam, it alleged, the structure was being built elsewhere in connivance with the panchayat president and the Block Development Officer.

Furthermore, some persons had occupied the Irula graveyard at Thottithoppu in Cuddalore district. Officials should evict these encroachments and restore the graveyards to the Irulas, the meeting said.

The Sangam urged the Villupuram and Cuddalore Collector to immediately issue community certificates to the wards of Irulas for pursuing education. Of the 461 applicants from Thottithoppu, Bharathi Nagar, Srisamy Nagar, Anguchettipalayam, Karumbur and Korathi in Cuddalore district, only 58 had secured the certificates so far.

In Villupuram district, 974 persons had applied for the certificates, but only 154 of them had got the certificates. At Panamalai Madura Mettupalayam, officials conducted enquiries in respect of 107 applicants, but none of them was issued the certificate. Hence, the Collectors must ensure that the Iruals got the certificates before admission closed for this academic year.

As 95 per cent of the Iruals remained landless, the government should allot five acres to them as recommended by the Thangaraj Commission, and build cluster houses for them, the Sangam said.

Sangam president P. Elangovan, general secretary S. Arumugham, and organiser Prabha Kalvimani took part at the meeting.

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