Tuesday, Sep 16, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
The byelection "would not be free and fair" as the Government failed to give protection to the DPI candidates, who contested the elections held at Pappapatti and Keeripatti 18 months ago. Its candidates, Poonkodiyan and Subban, could not even return to their villages in view of the situation which prevailed there, Mr. Tirumavalavan told presspersons here.
The police had also `failed' to take action against the 100-odd accused, who indulged in violence against the Dalits. The "police inaction only betrayed the government support for casteist forces."
`Rehearsal for ban on cow slaughter'
Mr. Tirumavalavan said the DPI was opposed to welfare activities being implemented in these panchayats in the absence of elected representatives.
Describing the ban on animal and bird sacrifice in temples as a `rehearsal' for forbidding cow slaughter, he said the Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, by resorting to such measures, apart from backing the Sangh Parivar demand for a common civil code, only attempted to identify herself with the Hindu fundamentalist forces.
Though an impression was sought to be created that animal and bird sacrifice was an obscurantist practice, the rural masses had been adopting it as part of measures to maintain ecological balance, he said.
The DPI would organise demonstrations in all district headquarters on October 6, urging the Government to withdraw the order, which ``forced the people to turn to worshipping according to agama rules''. The party would also organise a State-level conference in Salem on November 17 to press for withdrawal of the ban on ritual sacrifices, and urge the Government that it abandon the move to ban cow slaughter and strictly implement the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
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