Tension prevails in TN’s Tirunelveli after caste violence erupts

Violence continued on Friday in certain areas of rural Tamil Nadu after an ITI student was attacked in Tirunelveli district.

The student, identified as B.Balamukesh, a Scheduled Caste from Marudham Nagam in Tirunelveli district, was attacked on Wednesday night, police said.

The assailants attacked Balamukesh while he was taking a bath in a canal on Wednesday evening. He received injuries and was rushed to Tirunelveli Medical College hospital where he is recuperating.

The Muneerpalam police registered a case against Sankaralingam, Arun Pandian, Arumugam, Vathu Mani, and some other unidentified people under various sections of the IPC and SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Giving details of the incident, the police said after the news of the attack on Balamukesh reached his village at Marudham Nagar, a group of youngsters from his village attacked the accused. They ransacked the houses of the accused, destroyed a car, an autorickshaw and a motorbike. They also set on fire two haystacks. More than 10 houses with tile roofing were damaged following stone-pelting.

The attackers also blocked the road passing through Marudham Nagar demanding the arrest of those involved in the attack on Balamukesh. The protesters told the police that the atrocities against the SC/ST people were continuing unabated in the village since 2019 when Rajamani of Marudham Nagar was murdered.

Meanwhile, members from the other caste also blocked the Tirunelveli-Papanasam highway demanding the arrest of those who ransacked their houses, destroyed their vehicles and set fire on the hay sacks.

The police also said that in a related incident the same group, who attacked Balamukesh, entered the Subramaniyapuram Sri Lanka refugee camp and attacked Chinnadurai 55 and Perumal, 65 with sickles and then escaped. Residents of the refugee camp also conducted a roadblock following the attack.

A large police posse led by Inspector General of South Zone, T.S. Anbu is camping in the area to prevent untoward incidents.