Express News Service
CUDDALORE: The struggle of Arunthathiyars continues to be long and arduous. Discrimination haunts not only when they live but even in death as they are forced to fight it out for a decent burial for their loved ones in a common burial ground. The most recent incident played out near Veppur in Cuddalore district.
Around 700 hundred persons live in Maduravalli village near Veppur. Nearly two acres of land is used as a cemetery by Paraiyars and Backward Communities. The Arunthathiyars bury their loved ones next to a stream.
“During rainy season, it becomes difficult and the Arunthathiyars sought permission to use the cemetery to bury their loved ones. Based on the request, they were provided 12 cents in the cemetery a month ago. However, the BC did not accept it,” said a villager from Maduravalli.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, A Kaliamorthy (50), an Arunthathiyar, died and his relatives tried to bury him in the village cemetery, but were stopped by nearly 50 members of Backward Community.
“Initially even the Paraiyars opposed the burial in village cemetery. We held talks with them and they agreed to let the burial go ahead, but the Backward Communities did not relent and when we tried to protest the officials stopped us,” said S Thirumaran alias Ayyasamy, former Mandal Secretary of VCK.
Thitakudi DSP in-charge A Arokiyaraj and Tahsildar R Tamilselvi came to the spot and held talks with the villagers and explained that the cemetery not for any particular community. Later, with police protection the body of Kaliamorthy was brought to the cemetery and buried, said sources.
A police source said, “Case was filed against 18 persons including women belonging to Backward Communities under IPC sections 144, 147 (Punishment for rioting ), 153A(1) and 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and further inquiry is going on.”
A peace meeting between members of all community will be organised to resolve the issue, added the source.