UNBEARABLE: Villagers grieving the death of K. Suresh at E. Kottaipatti in Madurai district on Tuesday.
MADURAI: K. Suresh, a 19-year-old Dalit youth, was killed in police firing at E. Kottaipatti, one-and-a-half km from Uthapuram in Madurai district. The incident followed a clash that broke out between the police and villagers, who were protesting against Sunday’s attack on the convoy of Puthiya Tamilagam leader K. Krishnasamy.
The villagers of E. Kottaipatti demanding the arrest of people involved in the attack, had erected barricades by cutting trees and placing stones on the roads, preventing the entry of vehicles. Simultaneously, there were protests in Elumalai where Dalits and non-Dalits, armed with weapons, hurled bottles and stones at one another. S. S. Krishnamoorthy, Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Madurai Range, who was on his way to Elumalai, was prevented from proceeding further at E. Kottaipatti. The police asked the villagers to remove the barricades. There was a heated exchange of words, between the villagers and police, which escalated into a clash.Muruga Devi (40), mother of the deceased, said the police hurling abuses at women, started attacking them with lathis, injuring many. They also assaulted the men. When she was attacked, Suresh came to her rescue. But the police opened fire, without any warning, killing him on the spot, she alleged. Suresh was working as a wiring technician in a firm in Tirupur.
There were bloodstains on the road as the police dragged the body for around 500 metres before taking it into a vehicle. E. Kottaipatti has a population of 600 families where Dalits are in majority. Inspector-General of Police (South Zone) Sanjeev Kumar, camping at Elumalai, told The Hindu: “Villagers armed with deadly weapons blocked the DIG’s vehicle heading towards Elumalai. They started throwing stones and three policemen were injured in the attack and the police opened fire.” He said adequate security had been provided, with a DIG, two Superintendents of Police and two companies of police. Four more companies of police would be deployed.Solatium
Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi has announced a solatium of Rs. 2 lakh for the kin of Suresh. A Revenue Divisional Officer would hold an inquiry.