THOOTHUKUDI: A total of 50 families from K Kumarettiahpuram in the Vilathikulam panchayat union have allegedly been ostracised from their community, reportedly over their support to a particular candidate during the recent civic polls. These families and the candidate, who was subsequently elected the panchayat president, have allegedly been barred from entering temples, sitting at public places and taking part in local functions.
During the local body elections held in October 2011, S Kanagamani contested for the post panchayat president. She defeated the rival candidate, Thamaraiselvi, by 58 votes and became the panchayat president. However, soon after, “the ‘Naattamai’ (village head) G Vaiyannan threatened me, saying that they were the majority. They repeatedly insisted that I resign from the post,” Kanagamani recalled.
“Besides, he ostracised 50 families, including my own, who supported me in the election. Consequently,we are being denied entry into the temple and are not being allowed to sit at public places or take part in village functions,” she rued.
Against this background, ‘naattamai’ Vaiyannan was getting ready to conduct the Kaliamman Koil temple festival in the village on May 22, without the participation of our families even though we all belong to the same community, she added.According to Kanagamani, Vaiyannan even ignored the local police inspector’s advise to resolve the issue and conduct the temple festival with the participation of these 50 families. “He continues to threaten our families,” she alleged. On Monday, Kanagamani, along with the affected families, submitted a petition to the collector, seeking action against Vaiyannan. When contacted, Collector Ashish Kumar said that revenue officials have been asked to visit the place. “Appropriate action will be taken based on their reports,” he added.