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116 arrested to quell unrest in Tamil Nadu village

National, Mon, 06 Oct 2008 IANS

Uthapuram (Tamil Nadu), Oct 2 (IANS) Tension between upper-caste Hindus and Dalits and the use of country-made bombs resulted in arrest of 116 people in this village, the police said Thursday.


Over 520 cases have been registered against alleged wrongdoers on both sides. Five special teams have been formed to nab troublemakers who fled after teargas shells were burst to disperse unruly crowds, police officials added.



The two communities had shared an uneasy coexistence since the state government in early May brought down a 'wall of shame' that separated them for over 19 years after Left protests and a rumour about its 'electrification'.



Trouble started two days ago after youths from either community attacked residences over a minor scuffle.



This led to upper caste Pillais and Thevars shifting to the hills for several days and returning only on assurances from the district administration that none of them would be arrested for the protest.



The village, in Madurai district, is some 425 km southwest of Tamil Nadu capital Chennai.


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