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Chennai Exclusive Headlines India National News

Muslims-only villages in Tamil Nadu

Chennai, Dec 17 (): Muslim fundamentalists have tightened their grip in the villages of Ramanathapuram district. This district is 527 km south of Chennai, is a Hindu pilgrim centre since it houses Rameswaram Temple and many holy shrines.

The place gets into news for fishermen being arrested by Sri Lankan Navy. That the district is home to smugglers is an open secret. TN police special squad, probing the murder of Hindu outfit leader in Vellore, traced a link to Keezhakarai where the killers were holed up.

Now, villages in the district have put up signboards banning entry of Hindus who are termed outsiders. Local Muslim Jamaath Councils in these villages have issued these rulings in Muslim-majority villages and it’s applicable to not just people out of the district but even from the district itself.

Azhagankulam, Sitharkottai, Athiyuthu, Puthuvalassai, and Panaikulam support such boards. A Delhi-based daily Pioneer’s Chennai reporter visited the villages to verify it.

Yet another board on the Attrankarai Road says any kind of advertising and use of horns within village without permission is prohibited by the Panchayat. This is issued by Muslim Jamaath Thajul Islam Sangh, Pottakavayal.

The silence from both the Dravidian parties is because Ramanathapuram votes are crucial for a Muslim candidate. MH Jawahirullah of the Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam (MMK), an Islamic outfit, is the MLA and was an ally of the AIADMK in the 2011 Assembly elections.

The invitation to Modi for the swearing-in ceremony of Jayalalithaa ministry created a rift between MMK and AIADMK and voted for DMK during the July 2012 Rajya Sabha election.

In the birth place of saint Pamban Swamy, there is a board saying that the road is not for public use and a place where the women move around.

In 2008, with the DMK in power, Muslim youths hoisted the tricolour with slippers tied on it. This took place not once but twice. It took place in Kuppuramu and Vethalai villages. The youths who were booked should be in jail as the charges could be related to anti-national act but the then Congress MLA Hassan Ali saw that it was swept under the carpet.

The Hindus in villages were shocked when a Muslim youth killed a cow in front of a temple. The Jamaath Council in whose name this board comes up said that they were helpless as the youth do not listen to them.

Hindus turn a blind eye as they do not want any problem. The efforts to meet the SP and Collector by Pioneer failed. With elections in May 2014, no political combination is likely to take a stance on this local diktat from the Jaamath.