Residents seek release of five persons

AGITATION: Residents of Iruvappapuram staging a demonstration in Tuticorin on Tuesday.  

Staff Reporter

Tuticorin: Residents of Iruvappapuram staged a demonstration in front of the Collectorate here after five of their fellow residents were arrested by the police near here on Tuesday.

They alleged that the police arrested Jeevan Kumar (35) and four others who had taken part in the relay fast demanding formation of a separate panchayat at Iruvappapuram by merging 13 adjoining Dalits-dominated hamlets, with an aim to disrupt the agitation, which was poised to enter 100th day on Wednesday.

The villagers submitted a memorandum to the Collector seeking his intervention.

However, police sources said that they were arrested for closing a pathway in a poromboke land near Iruvappapuram with thorny bushes.

“They also threatened a revenue official, who tried to remove the blockade,” the police sources added.

Meanwhile, a six-member path-finding team comprising representatives of People’s Watch and Citizens for Human Rights Movement, two NGOs, visited Iruvappapuram to ascertain the fact behind the arrest.