Police said that 150 additional personnel will be deployed in the district, taking the total number of security men to 750.

Dharmapuri inter-caste marriage tensions Police security upped ahead of Pongal
news News Wednesday, January 10, 2018 - 09:22

A day after Priyanka and Raj Kumar, the inter-caste couple from Dharmapuri were produced in court, police have decided to tighten security in the district in view of the upcoming Pongal festival. 

Police said that 150 additional personnel will be deployed in the entire district, taking the total number of security men to 750. 

Priyanka and Raj Kumar had eloped in December last year, infuriating Priyanka’s family. The reason? Priyanka is a caste Hindu from the Vanniyar caste while Raj Kumar is a Dalit. 

Following Priyanka’s family’s abduction complaint against Raj Kumar, the couple were produced in court. According to one report, 21-year-old Priyanka told the Judicial Magistrate that she was not abducted and had left home to marry Raj Kumar also aged 21. She also stated that they were now married. 

Speaking to TNM, Dharmapuri Superintendent of Police Pandi Gangadhar said, “Old grievances and enmities may come up during this time as everyone returns to their native place. We don’t want to take any chances.” 

Police also confirmed that the couple were no longer under their protection but could be tracked down if required. The Superintendent of Police further said, “We don’t know where they are. They are free to do what they want. They are adults. All these days, they were with some friends in Krishnagiri district.”

The couple’s family which has now returned to their village are under police protection. Speaking to TNM, Raj Kumar’s uncle said, “The couple is safe. They love each other and they don’t want to separate.” 

In 2012, Dharmapuri had suffered caste clashes following a Vanniyar girl Divya's marriage to a Dalit man, Ilavarasan. Dalit colonies in the district were torched and burnt down. The girl's father allegedly committed suicide following her marriage. Ilavarasan was found dead a year later with police claiming he committed suicide. But Dalit families in Dharmapuri were left unconvinced.