Cops step up vigil over caste violence

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Chief minister orders payment of Rs 5 lakh each as relief to families of victims With Sundarapandi and Vetrivel succumbing to burn injuries on Sunday, the death toll relating to the Thevar jayanthi celebration has risen to six.

Three persons of Madurai succumbed to burn injuries sustained when some unidentified miscreants hurled petrol bombs at their vehicle while returning from the Thevar Guru Puja on October 30. While college student Jayapandi died late Saturday night, Sundarapandi and Vetrivel succumbed on Sunday.

With this, the death toll relating to the Thevar jayanthi celebration has risen to six three men had died in two different incidents on October 31.

Chief minister Jayalalithaa, in a statement, directed payment of Rs 5 lakh each as relief to the families of the victims. She had told the state Assembly earlier that the government was taking adequate security measures to restore peace in the region.

Poignant scenes of distress were witnessed at the two private hospitals in Madurai on Sunday morning when relatives of the three young men wailed inconsolably at their gruesome death.

The assailants had hidden behind bushes and hurled three petrol bombs as their vehicle drew close. The car caught fire in the explosion and 20 of its occupants sustained bad burn injuries. While three of them died, two others are in critical condition, doctors said.

Concerned about the growing caste violence, the government has increased police vigil in sensitive areas. A Thevar statue was allegedly vandalised by persons of another caste at Thevaram near Bodi in Theni district on Sunday morning.

Some buses were damaged in stone-throwing by miscreants at Paramakudi, a police officer said, adding, “We have taken firm follow-up action. Things are under control”.

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