Madurai, Dec 16: With the Mullaperiyar issue slowly raging into a full blown fire, Tamilians and Keralites are moving back to their respective states to avoid being targets who perpetrate violence. As many as 168 people from Tamil Nadu who were residing in strife-prone Idukki district in Kerala have started moving back to TN.
The people who are moving back include 80 women and children and were residing in Udumbanchola, Parathodu, Kochanparai, Chemmannar and Thalaiyankaval in Kerala. They have moved en masse to Thevaram in Uthamapalayam taluk in Tamil Nadu on Thursday.
According to police sources, as many as 2,000 Tamils have already crossed over since the past few weeks after being caught in the Mullaperiyar row. The matter has now become an inter-state conflict with violent acts committed on natives from both states.
The Tamil migrants alleged that people attacked them and their houses stoned after the Supreme Court dismissed Kerala's petition that sought to reduce the water level in the dam from 136 feet to 120 feet. A revenue official has been quoted as saying, "The district administration provided food and arranged transportation to their native villages after giving them some money." He added that the labourers who were victimised have been living across the borders for decades.
The people in Thevaram provided food and accommodation to the migrants who moved in from border areas in Kerala. With incidence of violence reported in both areas, there are unconfirmed reports that top business establishments owned by Keralites in Tamil Nadu are being vandalized. Some of the shops that were attacked include those of Muthoot financiers, Kalyan Jewellers and Joy Alukkas Jewellers.