"The site chosen by the government in our village is being used by us for worship since 1983," Pudu Kodangipatti Village headmen C Palsamy and P Soundarapandi told PTI.
Deities including Lord Ganesha, Kali Amman and Mari Ammanwere being worshipped at this site ever since about 1,850 Dalit families settled in Pudu Kodangipatti in 1983 after a communal strife in nearby Kodangipatti.
"The five acre site is used by us for all common purposes, including worship, though there is no pucca temple there," they said.
Pointing out that the village does not have even a single amenity like a Balwadi, Primary Health Centre and school, the village leaders urged the government to construct any of these facilities at the site.
"We need to travel 11 km to Alamarathupatti to reach the nearest Primary Health Centre," they said.
Referring to a communal problem in nearby Sithaiyyan Kottai, Palsamy said, "we are not sure if the authorities will allow us to take out a procession of our deities with music and fireworks if a memorial for Tipu was built."
Stressing that the village was not against Tipu, he said, "we even do not know who he is. We are only worried about the implications after its construction."
Arguing that land is available in nearby Begumpur, he wondered why the government could not find a site there. President of Seevalsaragu village panchayat (under which Puthu Kodangipatti falls), M Elangovan and Panchayat official B Balaji said district authorities have been apprised about the situation.
"They do not want the memorial there. They fear that it may disturb peace in future," they said.
The public works officials who began work for the memorial on the site were turned away by the villagers. Last year, former chief minister Jayalalithaa had announced that a memorial (manimandapam) would be built for Tipu Sultan and Hyder Ali in Dindigul District.