Two persons were killed and seven injured in a clash between two intermediate caste groups at Kailasapatti village, near Periyakulam, in Theni district on Monday.
Sources said that enmity had been simmering between the two groups over various issues in the village.
Earlier, one of the groups had lodged a complaint with the police against Jeyabal, 55, alleging that he was engaged in the sale of marijuana. Enraged by this, Jeyabal’s supporters allegedly damaged the houses of the individuals who had lodged the complaint.
On Monday morning, the individuals whose houses were attacked lodged a fresh complaint with the DSP of Periyakulam sub-division, claiming their lives were under threat. In the evening, the two groups got embroiled in a wordy quarrel, which escalated into a clash. Two persons died and seven sustained injuries as the belligerents attacked each other with stones and billhooks. Jeyabal, who suffered severe cuts, died at the Theni Government Hospital, where the injured were taken.
Perumal, 70, belonging to the rival group, is suspected to have died in a stone-throwing incident.
Relatives of the deceased blocked the Theni-Dindigul highway and assembled outside the hospital, demanding police action. Theni Superintendent of Police Sai Charan Tejaswi held talks with the agitators.
“Five persons have been detained. A case of murder has been registered. Over 200 police personnel have been posted in the village,” the SP said.