New Year celebrations for the Dalits of Kudikadu began on a sour note as a mob of caste Hindus allegedly attacked them, vandalised homes and damaged their motorbikes, as per a report in The New Indian Express.
The affected Dalits along with activists on Monday staged a road roko protest for about two hours on the Thanjavur-Pattukkottai road, bringing traffic to a standstill.
Kudikadu is a settlement in Ambalapattu South village, and on Sunday night, Dalits celebrated New Year with lights and a sound system, police said.
As part of the celebrations, they erected an arch made of balloons at the entrance of their settlement at Kenipalam on the main road.
However, as the Dalits were enjoying the celebrations, caste Hindu youths from the neighbouring village of Ambalapattu North allegedly defaced the arch.
This led to an argument as the Dalits confronted a few caste Hindus about the incident.
The caste Hindus then came back with their community members and allegedly incited them over the sound system being used for the celebrations.
After this, a large number of caste Hindus went on the rampage in Kudikadu and started ransacking Dalit homes.
Weapons were also allegedly brought in a van.
Afraid of the repercussions, the petrified Dalits then locked themselves up and stayed indoors while others fled into the fields.
It started when T Srirangan (56), S Rajkumar (35) and Gunasekaran of the Dalit community confronted the caste Hindu mob and were reportedly attacked.
Front portions of houses belonging to 14 Dalits were damaged.
Household articles including TVs and furniture were also destroyed.
S Kannan, Additional Superintendent of Police, Thanjavur, told NIE that six caste Hindus have been arrested and further investigations are going on.