Inter-caste marriage triggers riots, 9 arrested
SALEM: A group of vanniyars ransacked houses belonging to dalits in Somampatty after a vanniyar girl married a dalit man on Monday midnight. The gang also hurled petrol filled bottles at the houses. One person was injured in the attack and was admitted to the government hospital in Vazhapadi. Police arrested nine people in connection with the issue on Tuesday.
P Saravanan, 29, of AdiDravidar colony in Somampatty village near Vazhapadi, was in a relationship with M VanniyaPriya, 25, of Vilaripalayam near Somampatty. , who works as a teacher in a private school. The girl’s father Madeswaran, is PattaliMakkalKatchi (PMK) Salem south district’s auto trade union as well as a panchayat member from ward 5 of Vilaripalayampanchayat.
The couple married on March 3, 2014, without informing their parents, but continued living with their parents.
Few months later, Priya’s parents started looking for a groom, following which she informed Saravanan. He returned to Salem.
On Monday he approached Karipatty police for protection, as they feared their relatives would kill them if they came to know about the marriage.
Karipatty police held talks with the couple’s parents on Monday, but the talks didn’t yield any results. The peace talk went on until late evening. But, Priya was stick on her decision and she informed police that she will stay back with Saravanan.
The couple was sent to Somampatty under police protection.
Around 12am a mob entered Somampatti village with petrol filled bottles. Police who were on protection duty to Saravanan and Priya tried their best to stop the mob but their attempts went futile.
The mob ransacked the houses as well as vehicles parked in the colony. “They hurled petrol filled bottles on the houses,” the police said. The added that S Arumugam, 40, of Somampatty, was injured in the incident and was admitted to the government hospital in Vazhapadi.
The mob damaged more than eight houses and two vehicles, before fleeing from the spot. including an auto partially gutted.
Salem district SP G Subbulakshmi rushed to the spot and initiated the inquiries.
More than 200 police personnel have now been stationed at the villages including Somampatty, Mottur and Vilaripalayam to prevent any untoward incidents. Salem range DIG Vidya D Kulkarni visited the spot and ordered the personnel to monitor the situation. The Vazhapadi police have shifted the couple to a safe house.
Vazhapadi police registered a case and have arrested N Pannerselvam, 25, A Kumar, 35, M Sudhakar, 30, J Nataraj, 27, J Kannan, 19, P Govindan, 20, V Chandran, 42, P Angamuthu, 33 and A Semmalai, 45, on Tuesday morning. “We have launched a search for 20 others involved in the mob,” Vazhapadi police said.
Meanwhile on Tuesday, workers from ViduthalaiChiruthaigalKatchi and Communist Party of India visited the village and consoled the victims.