Case booked against PMK leader for recent caste clash, TN CM says

CHENNAI: Warning that her government will not tolerate any form of violence, Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa on Monday said a case has been booked against PMK founder leader Ramadoss in connection with violation of rules during a function organised by his party at Mamallapuram on April 25.

Though the organisers of the function had assured that they would abide by the rules, they (PMK) have violated most of it, the CM said in the state assembly today. In a caste conflagration, cadres of the PMK, the core of which is constituted by the most backward vanniyar caste, dominant in northern Tamil Nadu, went on the rampage in some dalit villages near Marakkanam, close to Puducherry. Government buses, shops and houses were set on fire. Two PMK men were killed, apparently in road accidents that followed.

The PMK had organised a youth festival at Mamalapuram. The clashes broke out when PMK cadres, headed for the tourist town, passed the dalit villages. Jayalalithaa said a section of cadres proceeding for the function from Puducherry were involved in violence, torching huts and damaging even government properties. She said 10 cases had been filed in connection with the violence. She also warned that the stringent Goondas Act would be invoked against those who provoke violence.

The CM pointed out that the organisers had given written assurances to police that they would stick by the rules for organising the event, which also included winding up the programme at 11.35 pm, well beyond the accepted deadline of 10 pm. She quoted Ramadoss as saying that he would speak only at 11.30 am and said he was not bothered and challenged the police to file a case against him. “As per his wish, a case has been filed and I hope he accepts his mistake and also the punishment (to be awarded) by the court,” she said.

Jayalalithaa said the PMK cadres have tried to even damage the historic Mamallapuram temple during the function. Reading out a letter received from ASI, the chief minister said lakhs of people have swarmed inside the monument, damaging the fencing, lawn, garden and climbed the historical shore temple and hoisted flags. “They harassed the public and gained forceful entry into the monuments,” she said.

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