Three killed in police firing in TN

Three killed in police firing in TN

Jaya calls for peace, asks people to remain calm

The violence that erupted in the town following the arrest of a Dalit leader also spilled across the region, including Madurai.

The crowd gathered to pay homage to dalit leader Emmanuel Sekaran, killed during the 1957 caste riots between ‘“hevars” and “Dalits” in composite Ramnad district, turned violent as they learnt about the arrest of another dalit leader John Pandiyan near Tuticorin.

Police sources from the district head quarters of Ramanathapuram told Deccan Herald that Pandiyan’s supporters in Paramakudi, on hearing his arrest, threw stones at the police on bandobast.

The crowd that had gathered to mark Emmanuel Sekaran’s death anniversary in the town started demanding the release of John Pandiyan, who is founder of the  dalit outfit Tamizhaga Makkal Munnani Kazhagam, with his supporters.

Police resorted to lathi charge after their warnings to the restive crowd went unheeded. With a rioters setting ablaze to the police riot control van, the cops opened fire to quell the violence. A few cops were also said to be injured.
Even as additional police reinforcements from neighbouring districts were rushed to Paramakudi, about 50 km from Ramanathapuram town, the situation is under control. A senior Police official there confirmed that John Pandiyan’s arrest had set off “repercussions and the situation is tense.”

In Chennai, Chief Minister  Jayalalitha expressed regret over the killing of the three persons in police firing. She condemned the violence which, she claimed, had been fomented by vested political interests.

“I appeal to the people to maintain calm and not to fall a prey to such acts of violence instigated by a few persons for political gains in a bid to ruin the law and order situation in Tamil Nadu,” Jayalalitha said here in a statement on Sunday evening.

The chief minister announced an ex-gratia of Rs 1 lakh to each of the three affected families.

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