Scenes of shattered roofs and stones strewn all over emerged from Ponparappi, a small village in Ariyalur district after a group of Vanniyars, members of a dominant community attacked the houses of the Dalits in the village on Thursday. Eight persons were injured in the attack, reportedly orchestrated by the members of PMK.
According to reports, the clash broke out after a few Vanniyars persons broke a pot – the election symbol of Viduthalai Chiruthaikal Katchi (VCK) – in the village. The incident happened in a tea shop in the village on Thursday afternoon, which set off a round of arguments between the men from the two groups. The argument broke out into a scuffle which allegedly ended up injuring the youth who broke the pot. In retaliation, a group of men from the Vanniyar community entered the village and damaged the houses hurling casteist slurs in public at those living in the village. The mob also set vehicles on fire, causing heavy damage to them.
Videos of the attack show a mob of men with rods in their hands going on on a rampage in a street, breaking the roof tiles of a house which had a pot painted on its wall. Voices shouting ‘Break the roof’, ‘Chase him, don’t leave him’, etc can be heard in the video. The mob can also been seen pelting stones and logs in the air inside the village, all the while abusing the people.
Following the attack, police personnel were deployed in and around the village since Thursday evening and the cases have been registered against both the groups involved in the fight.
Ponparappi falls under the Chidambaram Lok Sabha constituency which is reserved for candidates belonging to the Scheduled castes. VCK’s Thol Thirumavalavan contested against AIADMK’s P Chandrasekhar in Chidambaram, which is also a caste-sensitive constituency.