‘PMK men’ behind TN caste violence

Many of those arrested or being hunted by the police in connection with the violence at Dharmapuri on Wednesday belong to the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), according to sources.

The PMK is a caste-based political party that draws its strength from the Vanniyars.

The first bench of the Madras High Court on Friday called the violence, that left 268 Dalit houses damaged, serious and directed the authorities to file a counter-affidavit and status report explaining what led to it.

A mob of over 2,000 caste Hindus belonging to the intermediary caste Vanniyars had attacked Dalit families after the father of a Vanniyar girl had committed suicide over her elopement with a Dalit boy from the neighbourhood. The couple, who later married, are safe, officials said.

Authorities believe no lives were lost as the Dalit inhabitants fled their houses anticipating violence following the suicide.

"The situation has been brought under control. We have arrested 97 persons," said DSP Asra Garg.

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