Clashes erupt after Muslims oppose Dalit woman’s funeral procession passing through ‘their street’

As per a report in The Hindu, communal clashes erupted at Bomminaickanpatti village in Tamil Nadu’s Theni district, after objections were raised against the passage of a Dalit funeral procession through a Muslim street.

The said funeral procession was being taken through that street owing to the regular route being used up by another funeral procession. This led to some of its residents lodging a protest, which resulted in a minor clash.

It has been claimed that the town has had communal uneasiness ever since a portrait of Tamil Nadu politician Thol. Thirumavalavan was vandalised in April.

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As per a report by Swarajya, a Dalit woman named Vanniammal had died on 24 April, following which her funeral procession was passing through the said street, when Muslim residents objected to it.

After a clash erupted, the police swung into action to pacify the two groups and even helped complete the funeral.

The village though has continued to simmer and on Saturday, fresh trouble broke out after a Muslim man was intercepted by some Dalits when he was going to his coconut farm by passing through their area.

After the Dalits asked him to change his route, fresh clashes erupted between the two groups where they attacked each other using sticks and stones. Later a mob entered the Muslim street and vandalised shops, houses by pelting stones. The report also claimed that vehicles too were set ablaze. All in all about 30 people are believed to have been injured in the clashes.

Seeing the deteriorating situation, the police cordoned off the village and deployed about 200 personnel to maintain peace. The entry of outsiders was restricted in the village, and the police even searched the locals when they tried to seek passage.

A case has been registered by the Jayamangalam police, and quite a few people are believed to have fled the region fearing police action.

This isn’t the only time clashes have broken out over processions passing through Muslim areas. We had reported last year how a Muslim mob had attacked a group of Kaanwariyas (devotees of Lord Shiva) for taking out their kaanwar yatra through ‘their area’.

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