Caste enmity reason for Arakkonam double murder, says fact-finding team

VCK founder Thirumavalavan, however, said that the double murder was a clear caste-based killing caused by election-related enmity.
Surya and Arjunan, the youth from Arakkonam who were murdered
Surya and Arjunan, the youth from Arakkonam who were murdered
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An independent fact-finding team led by retired IAS officer P Sivakami has found that the Arakkonam double murder was not motivated by political rivalry but was caused due to caste enmity. Addressing reporters in Chennai on Tuesday, the team also said that there was no truth to the rumours that the two young men who were killed were drunk when the crime took place.

IAS officer Sivakami was accompanied by advocate A Rajini and human rights activist Kalpana Sathish at the press meet. “There is no link between the elections and this. The issue started as an altercation and ended in murder. Did the people campaign for the ‘pot’ symbol only in that village? Didn’t Dalit people campaign in other villages? Why weren’t these issues reported from those places?” asked Sivakami.

“So, we cannot say that these are the reasons and our finding is that this is not even a reason,” she said. Sivakami also added that the government should give a compensation of Rs 1 crore and land to the kin of the deceased Dalit youngsters.

However, VCK founder Thirumavalavan talking to reporters on Tuesday continued to reiterate that the Arakkonam double murder was a caste killing due to political rivalry. In Srivilliputhur, he said, “The Arakkonam double murder is a clear caste-based killing due to election enmity. The two groups have had longstanding caste and political differences which resulted in an altercation and murder.”

“Trying to change the direction of this discourse is a crime. A case under SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act can be registered for this,” he said.

Two Dalit youth were murdered on April 7 by people from a dominant caste in Arakkonam, Ranipet district. The two young men—Arjunan from Soganur village and Suriya from Sembedu village—were stabbed to death with knives and bottles, while three of their friends were also injured in the clash. The police arrested six people, including some from the Vanniyar community, in connection with the murders. One of the arrested men was identified as the son of an AIADMK district office-bearer.

It was initially alleged that the cause for the murder was the Dalit men waving at the Vanniyar community men thinking that they were their friends. However, their kin and VCK members say the murder was a caste killing due to political rivalry.

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