Members of kuravar community affiliated to Tamil Nadu Pazhangudi Tamilar Kootamaippu and other Dalit organisations staged a demonstration near the Collectorate here on Monday demanding allocation of free house pattas to them.

The protest was led by Siva Prabhu, joint secretary. A petition submitted to the Collector states that there are about 10,000 Kuravar community families living in Madurai, but most of them are living on pavements, putting up tents under trees, tin shack hutments and live as nomads.

In February, around 300 of them had submitted petitions individually for free house site pattas. The then Collector had promised help and initially 115 members from the South Taluk submitted petitions to the Tahsildar but no efforts had been taken by the administration. When contacted, the Tahsildar stated that the petitions were missing and wanted new petitions to be given, alleged Siva.Narendar, founder, Tamil Nadu Pazhangudi Tamilar Kootamaippu, in his petition. He also said that even after submission of fresh petitions, there was no action.

The members of the community were living at Vedar Puliyangulam after erecting temporary hutments and demanded that house pattas be given to them in the same area. The other demands included priority for the oppressed Kuravars in educational and employment opportunities. The government must take steps to prevent police from victimising members of the community by foisting cases of burglary and thefts.

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