"Clash between two groups of students in Dr. Ambedkar Law College, Chennai" scream the news paper headlines. Don't believe them, it wasn't a clash, it was a thrashing administered by a large group of students to the unlucky few of the other community with police force standing as mute spectators. This youtube video has the gory details. All the news channels in Tamil Nadu are running the video almost non stop.
But this doesn't look like a simple college fight. The news reports say that it was a fight between students of two communities - Scheduled Castes and Thevars. The Thevar community students had printed a poster for celebrating Thevar Jayanthi on Oct 30 mentioning simply Chennai Law College dropping the name of Dr.Ambedkar. This angered the SC students and this issue had been simmering for the past few days. Yesterday, after the semester exams, the SC students chased the few unlucky ones to get caught and hit them senseless. One of those being hit brandished a knife and tried to save himself, but was over powered by the other gang and hit till he almost died. This is what I gather from reading various tamil blogs and comments.
It is almost a given that this will lead to the next round of caste clashes in Tamil Nadu, especially the South. In the previous clash of 95-98, the statues of Dr. Ambedkar and Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar were damaged in many places, so much so that the Government decided to put a steel barricade protecting the statues. It was during that time the names of various leaders were dropped from Transport Corporation names (like Veeran Sundaralingam Transport Corporation) since the communities started burning the buses that bore their opponent community leader's name.
It is impossible to root out Caste from Tamilnadu.
Update: More details emerge about the clash. Apparently, the guy with the knife had stabbed / cut a dalit student earlier in the day. The dalit students were paying him back after the exams. Most of the TV Channels and newspapers seem to paper over the initial attacks. Now it makes sense why Jaya TV was running the campus violence video non stop. (Jaya TV is the official channel of ADMK which has slowly morphed into a Thevar dominated party since 1990s).