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Friday, April 16, 2021

Two Dalit men killed, three others injured in clash near Arakkonam

DSP rules out communal angle, says initial investigation shows men were under influence of alcohol when argument broke out.

Written by Janardhan Koushik | Chennai |
Updated: April 9, 2021 12:02:52 pm
Members of the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi stage a road blockade on the Tiruttani-Tirupati highway demanding strict action against the accused. (Express Photo)

Two Dalit men were killed and three others injured when a clash broke out between them and people from the Vanniyar community at Guruvarajanpetai near Arakkonam in Ranipet district of Tamil Nadu on Wednesday.

According to the police, the victims, who are residents of Soganur and Sembedu villages, were standing near a shop in Guruvarajanpetai when an argument broke out with a couple of men from the Vanniyar community from Perumalrajapettai. It is then that the latter attacked the Dalit men with knives and bottles, killing Arjunan (26) and Suriya (26). Three of their friends suffered injuries and are undergoing treatment at the Tiruttani government hospital.

Ranipet SP R Sivakumar and Arakkonam DSP K Manohar reached the spot immediately to pacify the crowd. Four special teams have been formed to investigate the incident. The bodies of the deceased were sent for post-mortem and an FIR was registered under the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. Six men have already been arrested in connection with the case.

Speaking with indianexpress.com, DSP Manohar said as per initial probe, it does not seem to be a communal clash. “The men were under the influence of alcohol when an argument took place. There was no previous enmity between them. Those arrested have been identified as Surendran, Ajith, Madan, Nandakumar, Karthik and Satya,” he added.

Following the death, villagers, carrying Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) flags, staged a road blockade on the Tiruttani-Tirupati highway demanding strict action against the accused.

VCK deputy general secretary Gowthama Sanna meets family members of the deceased. (Express Photo)

VCK leader and MP Thol Thirumavalvan took to Twitter to condemn the incident. He said his party will organise protests across all district headquarters on April 10.

In a statement, Thirumavalvan said Dalits have been attacked in several places as the elections have concluded. He added that the fear of losing the elections has caused some of the ADMK-BJP-PMK leaders to indulge in violence.

“Two Dalit youths have been killed in a murderous attack by the caste fanatics. Three more young men have been admitted to a hospital in a critical state. We demand the immediate arrest of the caste fanatics and sand mafia gangs who committed this murder, and their imprisonment under the Goondas Act,” the statement read.

VCK’s deputy general secretary and Arakkonam candidate Gowthama Sanna met the families of the deceased.

Meanwhile, PMK has not reacted to the incident yet.

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