Islamic Tolerance Alert: “Consider Kilvisharam panchayat de-merger: SC,” from the Express News Service, November 10 (thanks to Slothy):
The economy of Melvisharam is dominated by a group of wealthy Urdu-speaking Muslim industrialists and it is largely based on tanneries. After the merger, the water sources of Kilvisharam area were polluted by the tanneries and had the effect of ruining the Kilvisharam betel leaf economy.
The elected panchayat had all Muslim functionaries and the inhabitants of the four minority wards were denied their fair share of administrative and developmental facilities to such an extent that even drinking water and garbage collection facilities became almost absent in these wards, it was submitted.
It was alleged that when this problem was brought to the notice of the functionaries of the panchayat, they suggested that the inhabitants of Kilvisharam wards convert themselves to Islam. Thus, they were discriminated against on grounds of religion, a violation of Article 15 (1) of the Constitution.