Murder accused caste leader releases audio clip again, incites passions in west-TN tinderbox

Why is the Tamil Nadu police not able to arrest murder accused caste-outfit leader even two months after brutal incident?
Murder accused caste leader releases audio clip again, incites passions in west-TN tinderbox
Murder accused caste leader releases audio clip again, incites passions in west-TN tinderbox
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In yet another audio recording released recently, absconding Kongu Vellalar fringe leader and murder accused Yuvaraj has asked his community-men to prepare for battle ahead and ‘defend’ themselves from the attacks the community is being subject to from ‘all sides’.

Yuvaraj, leader of the Dheeran Chinnamalai Peravai, a caste outfit which seeks to protect the Kongu Vellalar community in the name of the iconic freedom fighter, is accused of kidnapping and murdering a Dalit-boy named Gokulraj for speaking to a girl from upper-caste.

Two months since the boy was murdered and his body found near the railway tracks in Namakkal, the Gounder leader is still absconding but freely communicating with members of his caste outfit, relaying instructions. Many believe that Yuvaraj could be in hiding in Tamil Nadu and is being supported by members of the establishment.

This is not the first audio clipping he has released to communicate with members of his outfit and the community at large. In his first audio recording, he had dismissed the murder as no big deal and warned the police against taking action against him. Read about it here.

In the latest audio message, he asks his followers to spread the message to prepare for the uphill tasks ahead, and that when he is back a rally will be held. “Everybody knows what has to be done, start the work,” he says.

“Don’t get violent, but we should protect ourselves, our women, dignity and community. We have to do what we have to since this is need and necessity of the hour or it will get worse,” he says.

He further incites his followers by saying, “We are being attacked from all sides – politicians, police and leaders of other castes. Our culture is being destroyed. One guy writes a book, one guy is lifting our girls...,” he says, referring to writer Perumal Murugan and murdered Dalit youngster Gokulraj.

He also warns certain police officials who he claims are targeting his family. With the choicest of abuses in Tamil, the caste fanatic leader says that he will see to it that erring officers are punished when he is out of hiding.

This particular murder case and the events which have followed have had a deep impact on the psyche of the communities in Western Tamil Nadu. “Not just this one, but any incident of violence which has a community angle will lead to a fear psychosis among the people. That is what is happening here among the lower caste communities,” says Ravikumar, a member of Dalit-based part VCK.

“The case has definitely affected the communities, but it is not as evident as in southern districts,” says Kavitha Muralidharan, a senior journalist who recently travelled to Western TN to speak to caste leaders and Gokulraj’s family. “I feel the situation here is as dangerous as it is in southern districts which are known for their caste violence,” she adds. She also says that she believes a Kongu Vellalar assertion campaign has been afoot for a while now and even those who claim to be more progressive among the community leaders are against the idea of inter-caste marriages.

In his audio clipping, Yuvaraj also blames Dalit leaders like VCK’s Thol.Thirumavalavan, stating that leaders like him and using incidents like these to further their political agendas. But members of the VCK respond by saying that they are only protecting the rights of the Dalits like in any other case. “As a party, we are treating this like any other case of caste violence,” says Ravikumar.

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