Villagers lay siege to Madurai Collectorate

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Madurai, May 5 (UNI) Tension prevailed here today as a section of residents of Udhapuram village laid siege to the Collectorate to protest against the ''politicisation'' of the controversy over a concrete wall, which separated the Dalit locality from that of the 'Uppercast' in the village.

About 400 agitators, including 200 women, alleged that some political parties and a section of the media were politicising the issue. They said the wall was built during 1989 on a mutual understanding between the members of the two communities to prevent any clashes in the future.

The agitators alleged that the politicians were unnecessarily raking up the issue only to gain ''political mileage.'' They accused the Madurai District administration of ''failing'' to intervene in the issue.

As a mark of protest, the villagers returned 302 ration cards to District Revenue Officer Ramachandran and submitted a memorandum to him in this regard.

Later, they dispersed peacefully.

It may be noted that the CPI(M) had planned to stage a protest under the leadership of party General Secretary Prakash Karat on May seven at the village, demanding that the government immediately demolish the wall.

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