In the aftermath of the recent clashes between Dalits and Muslims in Tamil Nadu’s Theni district, the National Scheduled Cast Commission (NSCC) has announced a compensation for the damages caused to Dalit houses by police while conducting searches and security drills in the area.
“I have recommended district officials to give compensation to Dalit families and have asked officials to maintain law and order situation and ensure normalcy returns to the village as soon as possible,” Murugan, the Deputy General Secretary of the NSCC, said on Monday.
On May 5, the body of an elderly woman, Vanniamal, was being carried through a Muslim neighbourhood en route to the cremation ground when clashes between the two communities erupted.
Dalits chose the route as there was another funeral procession going on along the regular route. When the procession entered the Muslim area, some residents protested, and minor clashes followed.
The police pacified both sides and the Dalits managed to complete the funeral later in the day.
However, major clashes ensued later as angry mobs set ablaze several vehicles, following which the police had to cordon off the entire village. Over 200 police personnel were deployed to maintain law and order, with outsiders being denied entry and locals being searched before entering the village.
The Jayamangalam police have registered a case in the matter and fearing arrest, several people have fled the village. The locals said the two groups had been harbouring enmity against each other ever since a portrait of Dravidian Tamil Nationalist political party Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi leader Thol. Thirumavalavan was damaged last month.