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47 arrested for group clash near Aruppukkottai
Over 40 people were held in connection with the clash that broke out between two groups at Paralachi, a Dalit hamlet in Aruppukkottai taluk in Virudhunagar district on Friday night, sources said.
The incident that left some injured and led to three vehicles getting damaged occurred when a group from the neighbouring village of Sengulam were returning from Madurai after garlanding the statue of freedom fighter Veerapandiya Kattabomman on the occasion of his 260th birth anniversary.
When contacted on the incident, the South Zone Inspector General of Police, KP Shanmuga Rajeswaran, said when a group of people raised voices while passing Paralachi, some locals of the village got infuriated by it and hurled stones targeting the group, besides damaging two cars. However, the situation was brought under control. Totally, 47 people, including 24 from one ‘group’ and 23 from the other, were held in connection with the incident. Around 300 police personnel have also been deployed in the vicinity of the village, the Inspector General said.
Aruppukkottai DSP G Venkatesan said that there already prevailed longstanding enmity between the group from Paralachi and those from Sengulam village. On the particular occasion, the former had warned the Sengulam gang not to pass through a route in Paralachi. Despite that, the group from Sengulam accessed the route and reached Madurai, where they then celebrated Kattabomman’s birth anniversary. Angered by this, the local community in Paralachi waited for the group’s return and reportedly attacked them. On learning this, scores of people from Sengulam, which is only around two kilometres away from Paralachi, thronged the Dalit hamlet and reportedly went on a rampage, attacking the villagers. As the police force were on alert, they opened two rounds of warning fire in the air and made the crowd to disperse.
Aruppukkottai tahsildar L Palaniswamy said trouble brewed at Paralachi around 6.30 pm and lasted for over an hour. Many people from both these villages thronged the Paralachi police station, demanding action against those caused the unrest. Moreover, peace talks were also held to amicably settle the issue. However, when the situation threatened to go out of control, the police resorted to lathi charge, the Tahsildar said.
Based on complaints from both groups, the Paralachi police have filed a case under multiple sections of the IPC and also under the Tamil Nadu Property (Prevention of Damage and Loss) Act.