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Erode villagers stage sit-in at Collectorate to evict encroacher from graveyard

Villagers from a Dalit colony in Erode squatted in protest at the Collectorate on Monday against an individual encroaching upon their graveyard.

Erode villagers stage sit-in at Collectorate to evict encroacher from graveyard
Representative Image


More than 100 people from Vellalapalayam in Ambedkar Nagar broke into an argument with police, who blocked entry into the Collectorate and granted permission only for five persons to petition the officials. Suddenly, the villagers sat in protest in front of the Collector office triggering tension. More than 300 people from the Dalit community in Ambedkar Nagar were using a graveyard spread over in an area of 1.33 acres for ages.

However, an individual has encroached 75 cents of land from the graveyard and is carrying out farming activities over the last 20 years. “On September 30, a person from our village passed away. However, we couldn’t bury his body as all the ways to the graveyard were found fenced. Following our protests, the revenue and police officials removed a part of the fencing and paved way for burying the body the next day,” said VP Palani, a 75-year-old resident of the village. Villagers claimed that when they visited the graveyard again on October 15 to perform some rites, the encroacher was trying to remove the body by engaging an earthmover. Though a complaint was lodged in Nambiyur police station, no action has been taken yet, they alleged.

Villagers sought to reclaim their graveyard and also initiate action against the individual for encroaching it. Senior officials held talks and promised action. Then they left the spot.

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