“Various forms of untouchability prevalent in and around Usilampatti”

The Madurai district police on Sunday arrested Nilamalai (30) of Vadugapatti, main accused in the case of meting out humiliation to a Dalit boy.

The boy was forced to carry footwear on his head and paraded in a public place near Usilampatti in Madurai district on Wednesday.

‘FIR filed on June 6’

On Sunday evening, the police arrested the accused in Dindigul. In a statement, Superintendent of Police V. Balakrishnan clarified that a First Information Report was registered on June 6 by the Usilampatti Town Police as soon as a complaint came from the victim’s mother, Nagammal (29).

Cases were filed against Pathivuraja (52), son of Agni Thevar of Vadugapatti, and his sons Nilamalai (30) and Agni (25) under Sections, 294(b), 506(1) of the Indian Penal Code and under Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989, 3(1)(x) which is against a person who intentionally insults or intimidates with intent to humiliate a member of SC/ST in any place within public view, 3(1)(xiv) for denying a member of SC/ST any customary right of passage to a place of public resort or obstructs such member so as to prevent him from using or having access to a place of public resort to which other members of public or any section thereof have a right to use or access to.

The police, which arrested Pathivuraja and Agni on Friday, were in search of Nilamalai who was absconding.

The SP visited the village where the atrocity was committed.

On Sunday, the Deputy Superintendent of Police, who is also the investigation officer, conducted a meeting with the villagers.

Mr. Balakrishnan said that only “a few hardcore elements” within an intermediate caste in the village were practising such atrocities .”

The victim, a Standard VI student, needs psychological attention as he is affected by the public humiliation. Moreover, areas in and around Usilampatti have various forms of untouchability and the government must address the issue, said Thennilavan, youth wing secretary of Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi.

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