CHENNAI: Ramanathapuram district administration has imposed Section 144 for a period of two months — between September 09 to October 31 —prohibiting any public meeting or gathering of more than 5 people.
Section 144 will be in place from Friday midnight. The order is in view of birth and death anniversaries of Dalit leader Immanuel Sekaran and Mukkulathor community leader U Muthuramalingam Thevar.
Taking into consideration the sensitivity of the matter, district Collector Johny Tom Varghese announced it.
In order to maintain law and order, public peace, and tranquility in Ramanathapuram district, hired vehicles carrying volunteers from other districts during the birth and death anniversaries of various leaders are prohibited. Personal vehicle drivers should carry original driving licenses and other connected documents.
Superintendent of Police, Ramanathapuram has also reported that some of the volunteers may use hired vehicles for visiting the memorial places of their leaders during their anniversary.
Use of two-wheelers, auto rickshaws, and tractors are also prohibited for the events. In the case of State-level leaders of various registered political parties and other organisations, a maximum of 3 vehicles will be permitted with 5 persons only to be allowed to accompany the leaders. Regular stage carriages, tourist vehicles plying to other places through the district, goods carriages, vehicles with the students of local schools and colleges, vehicles carrying essential commodities, regular omni buses are exempted.
Background history of the issue:
Immanuvel Devendrar, who later took the name Immanuel Sekaran, was a freedom fighter, civil rights activist, and worker for the Indian National Congress, who was killed by members of another caste.
Ukkirapandi Muthuramalinga Thevar, also known as Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar, was a politician, a freedom fighter, and a patriarch of the Thevar community. He was elected three times to the national Parliamentary Constituency.
In 2012, the infamous Paramakudi shootings happened during the death anniversary of Immanuel Sekaran, where three people were killed.
Similarly, in 2014, two separate incidents of violence and stone pelting took place and in 2016, 13 cases were filed. In 2017, 263 cases were filed for violating the district administration's prohibitory orders.