An FIR has been registered against 15 men of which six are still at large.

Police arrest 9 men for circulating offensive audio related to Ponparappi violence
news Caste Violence Wednesday, April 24, 2019 - 09:52

Nine men were arrested by the Porayar police, Nagapattinam district on Tuesday for circulating an audio recording with offensive comments in relation to the recent Ponparappi violence.

According to police, 15 men, all belonging to Scheduled Castes, were booked based on a complaint given by Suresh Kumar, a local PMK functionary in Aiveli, Tharangambadi, Nagapattinam district. “The accused made an audio recording with derogatory and inflammatory comments against the Vanniyars in the context of the Ponparappi violence. The audio has been circulated since Sunday,” a police officer in the station told TNM. Of the 15 accused, nine have been arrested and the search is on to trace the remaining six men, he added.

Those arrested have been identified as Prem Kumar (27) from Porayar, Prem Kumar (28) and Felix Bharathi (22) from Maangudi, Gauthaman (23), John Bose (21), Johnson (20), Anandhababu (20) and Veerapandian (20) from Boodanur, and Mathivanan (23) from Aathupakkam. The other accused in the case are Pandian, Kalaivanan and Vinoth from Boodanur, Silambarasan from Peruveli and Kumar and Nelson from Maangudi near Tharangambadi. The police also said that all the accused belong to Viduthalai Chiruthaikal Katchi (VCK). 

The police have registered an FIR against these men under sections 153(A) [Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony], 502 [Sale of printed or engraved substance containing defamatory matter], 504 [Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace], 505 (1)(p) [Whoever makes, publishes or circulates any statement, rumour or report conducing to public mischief], 505 (2) [Statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes] and 507 [Criminal intimidation by an anonymous communication] of the IPC and section 67 [Punishment for publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form]of the Information Technology Act.

The arrested men have been remanded to judicial custody and are currently lodged in Trichy central prison.

On April 18, at least 20 houses in Ponparappi village in Ariyalur district belonging to Dalits were attacked and damaged by PMK members of the Vanniyar community, a dominant caste group in Tamil Nadu. The issue which reportedly started over a broken pot (electoral symbol of the pro-Dalit political party Viduthalai Chiruthaikal Katchi) ended up in a scuffle between the youths of the two groups. In retaliation to the scuffle, a mob of Vanniyar men entered the village and destroyed houses using rods. Ariyalur is a part of the Chidambaram Lok Sabha constituency where Thol Thirumavalan of the VCK contested the polls on April 18. 

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