Dharmapuri: Taking a serious view of the recent violence in which 268 huts at three Dalit colonies in the district were set on fire, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes, which visited the violence-hit areas, on Monday said the attack was "out and out pre-planned".
The Commission inferred from the visit that the attack was "out and out pre-planned and organised crime" against the Dalit community, NCSC Chairman PL Punia told reporters.
The violence was triggered after a man committed suicide on November 7 over his daughter`s marriage to a Dalit.
Punia said the mob had attacked a Dalit family in Kondampatti village where an inter-caste marriage had happened three years ago, revealing that they were taking revenge.
Petrol bombs were hurled at four-wheelers, two-wheelers, and valuables looted from houses revealing that it was not a sudden attack but a pre-planned one, the NCSC chairman said.
No casualty was reported. But all the houses in the colonies suffered damaged, Punia said, adding that the villagers were in a state of shock.
The Commission praised the district administration and police personnel who acted swiftly to arrest 126 culprits in connection with the violence.
As many as 40 houses were damaged and 175 houses were partially damaged, Punia said, adding that the government had provided only temporary relief measures. The estimated loss was roughly about Rs seven crore.
The district administration should constitute a peace committee, Punia said.
As school girls of affected villages felt afraid to go to school, the district administration should arrange bus facilities with police protection for a couple of weeks till the situation becomes normal, the Commission recommended.
The Commission would recommend to the government to constitute a separate body to provide counselling to the victims, Punia said.
A senior official of the National Commission for SC/ST had visited the three Dalit colonies on November 10.