The Tamil Nadu Tribal Association (TNTA) and likeminded organisations and political parties will press the government to provide financial compensation to the people affected in the Vachathi case, said P. Shanmugam, State president, TNTA, here on Saturday.

Speaking at a seminar on ‘Atrocities against Vachathi,' Mr. Shanmugam said now that the judiciary had given the verdict, the next step would be to get them financial compensation.

Legal battle

“If the government fails to provide the compensation, the Association plans to wage a legal battle to get it,” he said. The judgment in the Vachathi case had created confidence among the tribals of the village and sounded a warning to the officials who had acted in a highhanded manner.

Dilli Babu, Harur CPI (M) MLA, charged that Vachathi violence was planned by the officials, which destroyed the entire village.

Increased awareness

With the increased awareness among dalits and tribals, nearly 12,000 cases were filed under the Protection of Civil Rights Act in Tamil Nadu between 2006 and 2008, he said.

Similarly, the funds allocated by the Union government for tribal welfare were not spent for their welfare, he charged.

Suba Thenpandian of the People's Forum for Human Rights said only because of the CPI (M) and TNTA, the Vachathi issue was able to culminate in justice for the victims. Normally it would be difficult to initiate action against any government official, as senior officers had to accord permission for any such action as per law. In the case of Vachathi more than 200 officers have been punished.

R. Geetha, advisor, Federation of Unorganised Sector, and R. Krishnamoorthy, State president, Tamil Nadu Untouchable Eradication Front, were among those who spoke.

Keywords: Vachathi case