TN Dalit man killed, son assaulted over Muthuramalinga Thevar banner ( The News Minute )

Alleging that a Dalit couple’s 15-year-old son Karunakaran tore a banner of Muthuramalinga Thevar, a six member gang hurled casteist abuses and threatened them.

A 38-year-old Dalit man was hacked to death and his 15-year-old son was assaulted by a three-member gang in Thoothukudi, on November 13, claiming that the boy had torn a banner of  Muthuramalinga Thevar that was installed during ‘Thevar Jayanthi’ celebration. Though there were six people in the group, only three indulged in violence, while the others hurled casteist abuses. However, only the three persons who attacked the duo have been arrested so far. Muthuramalinga Thevar is regarded as an important figure in the Thevar caste-cluster and his birthday falls on October 30 which is celebrated grandly in various southern Tamil Nadu districts.

According to the First Information Report (FIR) filed by the Thoothukudi South police based on a complaint by Marimuthu’s wife Radha (37), there was a banner near their residence on Thevar Jayanthi day, which was later found torn. Marimuthu and Radha belong to the Paraiyar caste, a Scheduled Caste community. Radha’s complaint said that a six member gang – Mugesh alias Panai, Pathirakalimuthu alias Muthupandi, Jeyaraj alias Jeyamuthulingam, Mugesh’s father – Shanmugavel and his brothers Meeran and Murali – came to their house, alleging that their 15-year-old son Karunakaran tore the banner, hurled casteist abuses and threatened them, on November 11.

Police say that Mugesh belongs to Paraiyar caste, Pathirakalimuthu is from the Thevar caste and Jeya Muthulingam belongs to Nadar caste. On the same day, the six member gang had also gone to the police station to file a complaint against the boy. But Marimuthu agreed to pay them Rs 1500 as compensation for the banner and the issue was resolved.

However, on November 13, three of the six member gang – Pathirakalimuthu, Mugesh and Jeyamuthulingam allegedly beat up Karunakaran and Marimuthu tried to stop it. That was when Mugesh allegedly chased the father-son duo. He first attacked Karunakaran with a machete on his back and on his hand, and then assaulted Marimuthu with the machete. As Mugesh was stopped by Marimuthu’s wife and mother, Pathirakalimuthu took the machete from him and started assaulting Marimuthu.

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