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Caste clash over chariot

Chennai, June 13: Hours after chief minister Jayalalithaa refused to consider Kamalahaasan’s plea for police protection to shoot his controversial film, a caste clash near Theni killed one and injured 11 this evening.

According to reports reaching Chennai, the clash was sparked by upper-caste Hindus’ alleged refusal to let Dalits pull a chariot through their locality during a temple festival at Kombai village. The village is part of a sensitive belt known to be prone to caste tensions.

The temple chariot of Thirularayar Perumal had rolled out for the first time in 11 years as the car festival was observed today.

Earlier, Jayalalithaa said the Theni superintendent of police was “fully within his rights” to deny permission to shoot Kamalahaasan’s film, Sandiar, near Uthamapalayam in the district. The Puthiya Tamizhagam chief R.K. Krishnasamy had objected to the film, alleging it had casteist overtones.

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