Dalit boy Ilavarasan found dead near railway tracks

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IlavarasanDHARMAPURI, July 4;The body of dalit youth E. Ilavarasan, whose marriage with a Vanniyar girl led to caste tension, was found near a railway track behind the Dharmapuri Government Arts College on Thursday afternoon, sparking speculation that he had committed suicide in dejection over his wife Divya’s statement that their marriage was over.

Speculation was rife that Mr. Ilavarasan of Natham Colony in Naikkankottai village in Dharmapuri district committed suicide by jumping before the Kurla Express from Coimbatore to Lok Manya Tilak Terminus.

Mr. Ilavarasan’s death came just a day after Ms. Divya told reporters in the Madras High Court campus that she had no intention of returning to her husband, whom she had left earlier this month following caste tension between her Vanniyars and Dalits, and on the political firmament, between the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) and Viduthalai Chiruthaikal Katchi (VCK).

Ms. Divya’s father committed suicide last November. Houses were ransacked and torched in Natham, Anna Nagar and Kondampatti Colonies in Naikkankottai village on November 7, 2012.

Police sources said the youth was believed to have come to the spot around 12.30 p.m. on a motorcycle and sat for some time near the railway track behind the Arts College. It was alleged that he jumped before the Mumbai-bound Kurla Express between 1 p.m. and 1.30 p.m.

Eyewitnesses said he had sufferred a fatal head injury and his hand seemed to be fractured.

There was no report of any suicide note. The bag near the body contained three letters he had exchanged with Ms. Divya during 2011, the police sources said.

The body was not removed from the spot till 5 p.m. as his parents, relatives and residents of Natham Colony thronged the spot. Mr. Ilaravasan’s father was informed by the police over phone.

Asra Garg, Superintendent of Police, Dharmapuri and Sanjay Kumar, Deputy Inspector General, Salem Range are camping in Dharmapuri. Inspector-General of Police (West Zone) S. Davidson was also heading for Dharmapuri.

Meanwhile, Mr. Ilavarasan’s father T. Elango and his mother claimed that it could not be a suicide, as his son had sought to console them after the recent developments, telling them not to worry. He had also told them that he was going to Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh for work.

His relatives suspected foul play, wondering whether he was murdered and his body thrown on the railway track.

Mr. Ilavarasan had withdrawn Rs. 9,000 using his father’s ATM card in the morning and had told him that he would go to a relative’s residence at Bharathipuram in Dharmapuri town.

Section 144 promulgated

Meanwhile, Dharmapuri Collector R. Lilly promulgated orders in the district under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, prohibiting public meetings, rallies and other public functions with immediate effect. She also appealed to all sections of the people to maintain peace.

Our Special Correspondent adds from Chennai:

As news of Mr. Ilavarasan’s death spread, prohibitory orders under Section 144 of Cr.PC were clamped in the entire district. Companies of the Tamil Nadu Special Police were rushed to Dharmapuri district as a precautionary measure. Police forces were deployed in caste-sensitive areas of Dharmapuri, Viluppuram, Cuddalore and Tiruvannamalai districts.

Investigators suspect that the youth might have committed suicide. A photograph of Ms. Divya and some letters exchanged between them were found in Mr. Ilavarasan’s clothes.

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