A 24-year-old Dalit youth was allegedly made to eat human excreta at Melakoilpatti village coming under Nilakottai circle and Batlagundu police station limits in Dindigul district.

P. Sadaiyandi, in his complaint to the police, has said that on January 7 a group of Thevar Christian youth stopped him near the village salon and abused him by his caste name for daring to defy the ban on Dalits wearing footwear in the streets where upper castes live.

The group comprising Arockiasamy, David, Selvendran, Kennedy, Kannadasan, Peter and Anbu beat him up. Two of them then forced his mouth open and thrust excrement down his throat. They later smeared his face with it.

The Dalits of Indira Nagar in his village came to his rescue and took him to the hospital where he underwent treatment. However, fearing repercussion, Sadaiyandi did not file a complaint against them immediately and waited till the next day.

The Batlagundu police on Friday, January 15, filed a case against Arockiasamy and 20 others under Sections 147, 148, 341, 323, 355, 324, 506 (2) of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 3(1) (10) and 3(1)(3) of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities Act),1989. No arrest has been made so far.

Meanwhile, the youth who had attacked Sadaiyandi have also lodged a complaint with the police alleging that it was a drunken Sadaiyandi who had picked up a quarrel with them and attacked them.

Madurai-based non-governmental organisation Evidence, which conducted a field study, found that animosity between the Dalits and Thevars had been there for sometime after a ruckus on Christmas Day.

A. Kathir, Executive Director, Evidence, said that complaints had been sent to National Human Rights Commission, State Human Rights Commission and Chief Secretary.