Madurai: Around 800 CPI-M volunteers and Dalits were on Monday arrested when they attempted to defy prohibitory orders and go ahead with their “temple entry” agitation in caste-sensitive Uthapuram village in the district.
Around 500 protestors, led by state CPI-M Secretary G Ramakrishnan and two MLAs, were arrested here and 300 others held at Uthapuram as part of their agitation for allowing entry of Dalits into a temple, managed by caste Hindus, police said.
CPIM’s Untouchability Eradication Movement had announced the agitation contending that a section of Caste Hindus of the village was denying permission to Dalits to offer worship in the Muthalamman temple in Uthapuram, which was in spotlight last year after existence of a “dividing wall” separating the upper caste areas from Dalits colony came to the fore.
Police said the protestors were arrested as they tried to take out a procession in Uthapuram and surrounding areas. Among the arrested are two CPI-M MLAs — Nanmaran and Mahendran . More than 1,000 police personnel were deployed in Uthapuram to prevent the entry of outsiders. Earlier, talks held by District Collector C Kamaraj with the CPI-M leaders to give up their agitation failed. (PTI)