A long-standing issue between two factions over panchayat elections was reportedly the reason for the unrest in Thazhanguda.

Group of policemen stand as fire rages on behind them in a fishing hamlet in Tamil Nadus Cuddalore district
news Crime Sunday, August 02, 2020 - 19:14

Mounting tensions between two factions in a fishing hamlet in Tamil Nadu’s Cuddalore district has culminated in the death of one, and the torching of at least 20 fishing boats besides properties being vandalised in the area on Saturday night. In connection with the clash that lasted for a few hours at Thazhanguda village, 43 persons were detained on Sunday.

Speaking to TNM, Cuddalore Superintendent of Police M Sree Abhinav said, “Murder charges have been filed on five people and rioting charges on 19 of them."

A long-brewing clash between two factions over panchayat elections is reportedly the reason for this unrest in Thazhanguda. The deceased, identified as Madivanan, is the brother of former panchayat president Masilamani and was returning to Thazhanguda in the evening when a gang of 10 people intercepted him, waylaid him and hacked him to death.

Madivanan’s death resulted in his supporters resorting to arson and vandalising property. It is being reported that the long-standing rivalry between Madhiazhagan, husband of the village’s present panchayat president Shanthi, and Masilamani led to the incident.

The police suspect that Madhiazhagan’s gang had plotted and executed Madivanan’s death. As a result, over 20 boats, several fishing nets and a few parked vehicles belonging to Madhiazhagan’s supporters were set on fire.

“While Masilamani’s name has been mentioned in the First Information Report (FIR), he has been allowed to conduct the final rites of this brother," the Superintendent added. However, both Shanthi and her husband are not part of the 43 who have been detained.

The local body polls for panchayat unions that were held in December last year resulted in a clash between the two sides in the village. In January this year, the police had invoked Section 107 (Security for keeping peace in other cases) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) against members of both the groups.

About 200 police personnel have been deployed at Thazhanguda to restore calm at the village and for the sake of security. 

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