Ilavarasan found dead; curfew imposed in Dharmapuri


Dharmapuri: Dalit youth E. Ilavara­san, 20, was found dead by a rail track near here Thursday afternoon, a day after his Vanniyar wife Divya announced her decision to desert him and return to her mother for good.
It was a sad twist to the saga of the young lovers who had defied the caste pressures and married last November, triggering suicide of Divya's father and the angry Va­n­niyars torching houses in three Dalit villages here.
Dharmapuri and neighbouring areas turned tense after Dalit outfits alleged that Ilavarasan was murdered by some Vanniyars to teach a lesson for daring to marry an upper caste girl. District administration clamped prohibitory orders to maintain law and order even as Ilavarasan's relatives and friends tried to block the road outside the hospital where his body was kept for post mortem Thurs­day morning.
"We are closely watching the situation. Though it looks like a suicide prima facie, we are exploring all angles and not closing any possibility", said SP Asra Garg.
According to police, there was a half-finished beer bottle near the body and also Ilavarasan's bag, which contained several of the love letters the couple had exchanged in happier times. He had a fatal injury on the skull but otherwise, the body app­eared intact, they said. 
Despite her father Nagaraj's suicide and the Vanniyar attacks on Da­lits that followed, it app­eared that Divya was lea­d­ing a happy life with Ila­varasan. She left to see her mother on June 3 af­ter receing a call from her that she was unwell, pro­m­ising husband Ilava­ra­s­an she would return soon.
When she did not ret­u­rn, Ilavarasan filed a complaint and Divya appe­a­red in the Madras HC wi­th mother on June 6, wh­en she said she wo­u­ld like to stay with her mo­ther ti­ll she changed her mind and agreed to se­nd her to her husband. 
Curfew imposed in Dharmapuri 
Elaborate security arrangements have been made to prevent any untoward incidents following the death of Illavarasan, said Sanjay Kumar, Salem range DIG told DC.
Sanjay Kumar said that Section 144(1) of the CRPC had been  imposed across Dharmapuri, which bans all social gatherings of four or more persons. More than 400 police personnel including two companies of Tamil Nadu special police have been deployed in Dharmapuri to face any unlikely situation.
Sensitive villages identified by local police receive extra attention from the department and transport services to these places were asked to stop during night times to avoid trouble.
Sellankottai, the native village of Divya, was given adequate police protection. Twentyfive  police men led by a inspector provide security to the village as a precautionary measure to prevent the repeat of incidents in which dalit houses were set on fire in Natham, Kondampatti and Anna Nagar after the death of Divya’s father R.Nagaraj, 49, on November 7.
Next: Divya should come for last rites: Kin

Divya should come for last rites: KinDharmapuri: A pall of gloom descended on dalit villages in Dharmapuri as news spread of the death of Ilavarasan.
Villagers at Natham Colony and surrounding areas, who suffered the worst during the violence and arson after Divya’s father’s suicide, point out that their sacrifice for the inter caste marriage became meaningless following the death of Illavarasan.
Almost all, except children and elderly people of Natham village gathered at the medical college here where his body has been kept. The villagers tried to console the bereaved family members including Krishnaveni, mother of Illavarasan.
“He lived thinking that Divya was everything for him in this world not knowning that the girl was after his life”, D.Selvi,37, a relative of Illavarasan and native of Natham village.
The villagers want Divya to attend the funeral to finish the formalities as a wife of deceased Illavarasan and later let the girl marry anyone of her choice but not spoiling a family.
“Let Divya visit Natham as Illavarasan’s wife to complete the religious customs that are needed” Shanthi said.
Villagers claim Ilavarasan was killed 
Villagers in Dharmapuri allege that Ilavarasan, whose body was found near a railway track on Thursday, was murdered by some PMK men to avenge his audacity in marrying Divya, a Vanniyar caste girl.
"He was murdered and his body thrown near the railway track to make the police and others believe that he committed", said S Sakthi, 38, village headman at Natham.
According to the Dalits in the region, Ilavarasan had been on the PMK hit-list ever since the marriage took place. He had to keep running to Chennai, Bengaluru and other places to escape from the assailants but now they got him, said Sakthi.
The death of Illavarasan created tension near the Dharmapuri government medical college hospital where the body is kept in the morgue for post mortem on Friday. Angry mobs ransacked a roadside eatery and entered into arguments with the patrol police.
However, police believe that Ilavarasan committed suicide by jumping in front of the Kurla express train. “He must have been  and decided to commit suicide", said a senior officer investigating the death.

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