A. V. Ragunathan
No clashes but Niramani village remains tense
Festivities at a Mariamman temple in Niramani village near here were abruptly cancelled by the caste Hindus to protest the temple entry of Dalits on Friday.
The fire-walking ceremony, part of the celebrations, was scheduled to take place in the afternoon.
About 150 residents of a colony, led by Palanivel, branch secretary of the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, offered worship at the temple, run by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Department.
On coming to know of their entry, a section of the caste Hindus opposed the action, contending why the Dalits should enter the temple when they had a temple in their colony.
The caste Hindus, led by Manivel, Nallur panchayat union chairman, assembled before the temple and cancelled all events for the day.
Thittakudi Deputy Superintendent of Police Vanitha, Assistant DSP Ramakrishnan and Thittakudi Tahsildar Prabhakar rushed to the spot and held talks.
Superintendent of Police (Cuddalore) P. Pakalavan told The Hindu that when the Dalits sought to enter the sanctum sanctorum they were politely told that this was against custom. They dispersed peacefully.
Though there were no clashes, the village remained tense. A strong posse of police personnel has been posted.
[Courtesy: The Hindu, June 16, 2012]