A group of Dalits, who were travelling in a tractor, were stopped and attacked by a group of caste Hindu men, in Cuddalore of Tamil Nadu, on Tuesday, March 7. The incident took place near Bhuvanagiri, when a group of people were returning from Parangipettai after a temple ritual on Maasi Maham. Maasi Maham is one of the important festivals for Hindus living in Tamil Nadu.

According to police, a group of men belonging to the Vanniyar community stopped one of the tractors in which a few people were travelling and attacked them for having the volume too high. However, A Kathir, the founder-director of Evidence, the Madurai-based organisation fighting for Dalit and tribal rights, said that the attack was because of the caste of the people. “It was not that the volume was high, but who was listening to the songs in high volume,” he said.

Police arrested some of the attackers, and sent those injured to hospital in an ambulance. However, the ambulance driver Manikandan, who also belongs to the Vanniyar community, stopped the ambulance near Mela Manakkudi, following which the injured were again attacked by those from the Vanniyar community. Kathir said that the injured were taken to the hospital by those accompanying them.

Six persons, including three children and an elderly person have been admitted to the Bhuvanagiri Government Hospital. Seven persons – Suralirajan (29), Sanjay (23), Dhayanidhi (18), Kumaresan (26), Abhimani (18), Chandru (20) and Subhash (23) – have been arrested in connection with this incident. All of them, except Abhimani, are members of the political party Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), according to police sources.

This story was originally published in thenewsminute.com. Read the full story here