The police in Tamil Nadu's Myladuthurai district is on high alert following a stone-pelting incident at Pattavarati village, officials said on Tuesday.
The incident took place on Monday between cadres of Dalit outfit VCK, and a section of villagers belonging to Thevar community, after the VCK cadres tried to put garland on a 3-feet tall picture of BR Ambedkar near a public bus stop on the occasion of the 65th death anniversary of the founder of the Constitution.
Local residents said the VCK cadres had tried to "create an issue" after it tried to put a portrait of BR Ambedkar in a public place of the village dominated by Thevar community people, instead of Dalit colonies.
Vijayaraghavan, a former member of Pattavarati panchayath, belonging to the Thevar community, told IANS: "The VCK was intentionally trying to create a division among the people of the village on caste lines and this provoked the Thevar community. They used to garland the portrait of BR Ambedkar at the Dalit colonies every year but this year they tried to bring it to a public place and this led to differences."
Meanwhile, a senior police officer told IANS: "While the issue has subsided after the police resorted to mild cane-charge, there could be under-currents since the matter is between two castes... this is a highly sensitive issue in Tamil Nadu, and the police have not taken it lightly."
VCK leader and former Myladuthurai district secretary, M. Eezhavazhavan who was putting a garland on Ambedkar's portrait when stone pelting started, told IANS: "There was no provocation by our cadres and when stone pelting was started by the people of a certain section. However, some of cadres felt offended and arguments did happen... nothing more than that."
A heavy police posse has been deployed in the area to prevent any untoward incident.
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