Social activist Medha Patkar on Thursday made a surprise visit to Marakkanam area which recently witnessed violence.
Overlooking the prohibitory orders in force, she entered the Kattayan Street, the trouble-torn area at Marakkanam, and interacted with some of the victims for about half-an-hour.
Getting scent of her visit, the police personnel rushed to the spot and informed her that prohibitory orders were in force in the entire Villupuram district and she could not go to the troubled spot.
However, she insisted on seeing the orders.
She emphatically said that she was neither a political leader nor was representing any caste organisations. She had come over here as a citizen of India to empathise with the people who were subjected to atrocities.
Her visit was purely on humanitarian grounds.
Accompanied by E.S.Jose of the Human Rights Movement-Tamil Nadu, Ms. Patkar went into the colony and enquired the residents about their health and well-being, and, also about the basic amenities available in the colony.
Later talking to the reporters, Ms. Patkar condemned the planned attacks on Dalits at Dharmapuri and Marakkanam. She called for invocation of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act against those who were directly indulged in such mindless violence and also against those who were behind it.
She took objection to the blanket ban imposed on entry of Dalit leaders like Thol.Thirumavalavan. It was not fair to equate the victims with the offenders. At this hour of trauma what the victims needed was support. Ms Patkar said the residents, particularly children, were scared.
Mr. Jose said that Ms. Patkar had already made a representation to Governor K. Rosaiah highlighting the plight of the colony people.