TAMIL NADU

Clash between Dalits and Muslims near Theni

Fiery clash:Fire station personnel putting out a blaze engulfing a vehicle at Bomminaickanpatti village.HANDOUT_E_MAIL  

They chose the route as there was another funeral procession going on along their regular route. When the procession entered Muslim Street, some residents protested and a minor clash followed.

The police pacified both sides and the Dalits managed to complete the funeral that day. Later, the village witnessed minor skirmishes between the two groups.

On Saturday morning, when Syed went to his coconut farm, a section of Dalits allegedly intercepted him and told him not to go through their area. Later, heated arguments between the two groups led to a clash in which they attacked each other with stones and sticks.

Meanwhile, an unruly mob entered Muslim Street and hurled stones at houses and shops. Two shops, including a photo studio, were destroyed, the police said.

A gang barged into the houses of Muslims and damaged furniture, electronic gadgets and other items. The window panes of several houses were also damaged in stone-pelting incidents, police added.

Police deployed

Later, a mob set afire a car owned by Mubarak Ali, a motorcycle owned by Murugan and an auto-rickshaw owned by Ilangovan. Following this, the police cordoned off the entire village. More than 200 police personnel were deployed. Outsiders were not allowed entry. The locals were searched before being allowed to enter the village. DIG of Police (Dindigul Range) K. Joshi Nirmal Kumar and Superintendent of Police M. Baskaran inspected the village.

The Jayamangalam police registered a case. Fearing police action, several people fled the village. The locals said the two groups had been harbouring enmity against each other ever since a portrait of VCK leader Thol. Thirumavalavan was damaged last month.