A man belonging to Pudhirai Vannar, a scheduled caste community, who had applied for drought relief was allegedly abused and attacked by a cooperative union secretary at Satharasankottai in Sivaganga district on Tuesday.

Vettai Villan (50), who originally hails from Ponnali at Satharasankottai in Sivaganga district, was allegedly evicted from his village by members belonging to the dominant castes in 2004 following an incident of caste discrimination.

Since then Vettai villan and his family were living in Vavval Thottam near Uthangudi in Madurai. His son V. Murugan, a former member of Tamil Nadu Pudhirai Vannar Welfare Board in Madurai, has moved the Madras High Court demanding retrieval of their house and land.

The Dalit family on Thursday staged a novel protest in Madurai — the family carrying a head load of firewood, earthen pots and stove marched towards the office of Inspector General of Police, symbolically suggesting that they were evicted forcefully.

Murugan said that on the day of incidence, Vettai Villan had gone to Satharasankottai to claim drought relief for his land (Patta No: 673) (Survey No: 219/9A).

He was allegedly attacked and abused in his caste name stating that “you are not in the village; how could we give relief money.”

The aggrieved Dalit had met the Village Administrative Officer but was again abused there as the latter was facing a High Court case filed by the former’s son. The land which belonged to Murugan’s family had been allegedly usurped by an intermediate caste family in Ponnali.

While they were marching to the IGP’s office, police intercepted them near Matuthavani Integrated Bus Stand and took them to the office. The family members submitted a petition demanding the police to arrest the persons who had abused them under Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989.

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