Chennai: The ‘Nadar Makkal Sakthi’ has warned of serious consequences and even a caste conflagration down south if any harm befalls its leader ‘Rocket’ Raja, hailed by his followers as the torchbearer of the Nadar pride and a Robin Hood for the poor and oppressed in the community.
Videos of provocative public rallies addressed by Raja and his lieutenants are aplenty in circulation on social media. One of them has his senior lieutenants Hari Nadar telling the media that their leader was being harassed by the Tirunelveli police only because he’s related to the AIADMK MP Sasikala Pushpa. “The southern districts will erupt in caste violence if police do anything to Rocket Raja”, he has warned.
The fear of police action and the threats of reprisals emanate from the past history of continued violence murders by rival mobs and occasional ‘encounter’ killings by the police in the southern districts of Tirunelveli and Toothukudi dominated by the Nadar community, which is famous for centuries as a people known for their hard work, entrepreneurship spanning the seas, education, and of course the late Chief Minister K. Kamaraj.
‘Rocket’ Raja’s close associate Venkatesa Pannaiyar belonging to Toothukudi was killed in a police ‘encounter’ in Chennai in September 2003. After the death of his friend, who until then was considered the big daddy of violent crime in the southern districts, Raja graduated to the top league, police sources say.
It may be recalled that Raja celebrated his birthday in a grand style, using a sword to cut a huge cake shaped like a rocket, earlier this year at the same star hotel where he was nabbed now. There were posters in the city announcing his birthday and VIPs reportedly attended the bash, it is said....