Responding to calls by Dalit outfits and Left parties, the Tamil Nadu police on Tuesday demolished a small portion of the two decade-old wall built by the dominant Thevar community around their colony at Uthapuram village near Mdurai in Tamil Nadu to prevent entry of Dalits.
Over 1,000 armed police on Tuesday descended on the village in the early hours and demolished part of the 600 metre-long wall to provide a pathway to members of the Scheduled Caste community living close by.
"It is enough if we make the pathway. That is the demand of the Dalits," a police official, who took part in the demolition operation, said.
Police said the operation was carried out in total secrecy as the Thevar community, which is classified as Most Backward, had threatened to launch an agitation if the government demolished the wall. Police said no resistance was offered during the operation, in which four metres of the wall was demolished. It was also videographed by police.
The demands for the demolition of wall grew after local media carried reports about it recently.
Some residents had already vacated the colony, expecting trouble on Tuesday, said an official.
Officials said a police contingent would be stationed in the village for some time as a precautionary measure in view of the bitterness prevailing between the two communities.
Top police officials were present during the demolition operation.
Thevars, who staged a demonstration before the Collectorate in Madurai on onday, blamed the Left parties of politicising the issue. They also threatened to show black flags to CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat during his proposed visit to the village on May 7.Thevar organisations also blamed the media for creating a misunderstanding between Dalits and their community. Last evening, 300 members of the Thevar community surrendered their ration cards to the DRO in protest against plans to demolish the wall.