Students tiff sparks caste clash in Puducherry
An argument between school students on a bus on Thursday provoked clashes between Caste Hindus and Dalits in Thirukkanur and nearby villages on Thursday night and Friday, leaving four injured.
The situation returned to normalcy by Friday evening with police holding peace talks.
A total of 102 persons from both groups were arrested.
According to police, clashes between Dalits and Caste Hindus erupted at a bus stop at Thirukkanur on Thursday following an argument between a group of students on board a ‘Students’ Only’ bus.
There was unrest in Suthukeny even as police attempted to disperse crowds by resorting to a lathicharge. However, the clashes spread to Sandaipudukuppam, Katterikuppam, Kumarapalayam and Lingareddipalayam.
Superintendent of Police (Rural) G P Pazhanivel told Express that one house was set ablaze, while two others were ransacked as rival groups pelted stones on residences.
The SP said that police pickets were posted in the area on Thursday evening as patrolling was intensified even as clashes were reported early on Friday morning.
Additional armed police units were also rushed to the area to contain the violence as the authorities called for a peace meeting on Friday with leaders of the Dalit and Caste Hindu communities.
Students and workers living in the area were unable to proceed to their institutions and offices due to the unrest.
Meanwhile, a group of women seeking the arrest of the culprits who provoked the unrest, entered into an argument with the police. They dispersed after officials assured them of action.
Some members of the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) attempted to stage a road blockade in the area, but were prevented by the police, who arrested 50 VCK activists.
Gauthama Prabhu Nagappan
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