Tension again in TN Village as house goes up in flames

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Villupuram,Tamil Nadu, Mar 18 (UNI) Tension prevailed TODAY in Eraiyur village, which witnessed clashes between two groups of Christians recently, when the house of a Vanniyar Christian went up in flames even as police rushed to the place with reinforcements to prevent any law and order problem as rumours spread it could be the handiwork of Dalit Christians.

Police said tempers rose as news spread about the fire destroying Antoniar's house in the village with Vanniyar Christians accusing Dalit Christians of being responsible for it.

Alert police forces led by Superintendent of Police A Amalraj rushed to the scene prevented the villagers from staging a road roko on the Ulundurpet-Kallakuruchi Road.

The police outpost set up after the recent caste clashes was reinforced with a further 100 armed personnel to prevent any untoward incident and flare ups.

A team of experts are investigating the cause of fire to ascertain if it was the handiwork of mischevous elements.

Meanwhile, to express solidarity with the Dalit Christians of the village in the district, many Catholic Churches here and in neighbouring Cuddalore District remain closed for the second day today.

Two persons died in police firing at Eraiyur Village on March nine after trouble erupted following a friction between two sections of converted Christians over access to church services.

Police resorted to firing to disperse a mob that had ransacked houses of Dalit Christians.

On information that hundreds of people were attacking the houses and butchering cattle, a contingent of police rushed the place. The crowd turned their ire against the police and threw stones at them.

Superintendent of Police A Amalraj and six other police personnel were injured.

In the police firing, M Periyanayagam (40) and Mahimai (30), Vanniyar Christians, died of bullet injuries.

UNI XR GM MSJ DB2115

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