Activists for invoking provisions under the SC/ST Act

The National Alliance of People’s Movements has demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the death of E. Ilavarasan, the Dalit youth who was found dead along the railway track in Dharmapuri on July 4.

Addressing a press conference here on Friday, NAPM representatives, including representatives of various Dalit and Human Rights organisations, said Ilavarasan was subjected to harassment and mental torture just because he married a Vanniyar girl. They demanded that provisions under the SC/ST Act be invoked in the case.

A. Vinoth, general secretary of Athi Tamilar Liberation Movement, alleged that the Dharmapuri district administration and police were pursuing a pre-determined line of investigation.

Though there were many valid suspicions in the suicide theory, the police had not deployed sniffer dogs. “Crucial evidence at the scene was lost as the police arrived late. There was no indication of the youth being hit by a train and even the railway authorities had ascertained that no run-over was reported in Dharmapuri on July 4,” he said.

Even in the attack on Dalits in Marakkanam, police arrived at least six hours late. “The violence in Marakkanam was not a clash…it was a planned attack on Dalits. The atrocities against Dalits are continuing. The death of Ilavarasan only proves his commitment and love for his wife Divya.”

Mr. Vinoth demanded suitable action against PMK and Vanniyar Sangam functionaries for unleashing violence against Dalits. P.V. Rajagopal of Ekta Parishad urged the government to take steps to protect Dalits and marginalised groups in society.

Advocate S. Thenpandian of the People for Human Rights said several one-man Commissions were formed whenever caste clashes occurred. People had the right to know whether the recommendations were implemented.

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