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Tamil Nadu drops leaders's names to end caste clashes

In a bid to avert further caste clashes, the Tamil Nadu government has dropped political and community leaders's names from all districts and transport corporations in the state.

The significant decision, taken at a cabinet meeting in Madras on Tuesday, was announced by Chief Minister M Karunanidhi. The decision would come into force with immediate effect.

The chief minister said 28 endowments, named after these leaders, would be set up in the 15 state universities to offer scholarships to brilliant students. Rs 70 million would set apart for this purpose. This idea was mooted by Tamil Maanila Congress leader G K Moopanar.

The cabinet decision follows an all-party meeting on June 5, where a majority of the parties favoured such a move. Karunanidhi said 19 districts, from which the names of political and community leaders were being removed, would henceforth be named after their respective headquarters.

Similarly, 21 transport corporations would be regrouped into six geographic zones located at Madras, Madurai, Coimbatore, Tiruchirapalli, Villupuram and Kumbakonam. The new outfit would be called the Tamil Nadu Arasu Transport Corporation, he added.

The names which have been dropped include Periyar E V Ramasamy, V O Chidambaram, C Rajagopalachari, B R Ambedkar, K Kamaraj, Nesamony, Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar, C N Annadurai, M G Ramachandran and Rajiv Gandhi, Tamil poets Tiruvalluvar and Subramania Bharati and early freedom fighters like Veera Pandya Kattabomman, Veeran Sundaralingam and Puli Thevar.

Meanwhile, in a fresh bout of caste clashes, six people, including the chairman of the Melavalavu Panchayat Union, were hacked to death while they were travelling in a private bus at Thennagaram Patti village, about 32 km from Madurai on Monday afternoon.

According to reports received at the police headquarters in Madras, about 50 armed men, belonging to an upper caste, halted the bus bound for Natham and killed Murugasan and five of his relatives.

Three others, who suffered injuries, were admitted to a hospital, the reports said. The terror-struck passengers fled the scene.


Fear, hatred haunts violence-hit southern districts of Tamil Nadu

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