Villagers say caste discrimination prevalent for a long time
New Year day celebrations turned violent at Karukkakuruchi on Tuesday night, when a group of caste Hindus attacked Dalits.
The Dalits alleged that a section of upper caste Hindus objected to their celebrating New Year in the village. Vigneshwaran, a Dalit, suffered fracture on the hand after a caste Hindu youth dashed a two-wheeler against him. Vigneshwaran was admitted to the Government Headquarters Hospital in Pudukottai. A complaint has been lodged with the Vadakadu police.
Villagers said caste-based discrimination had been prevalent in the village for a prolonged period and the recent incident was only the tip of the iceberg.
The Dalits were silently suffering the humiliation. “We did not expose it fearing insecurity to our property and family members, particularly college and school-going girls,” says Nagaraj, one of the villagers.
A section of Dalits of the village, led by village panchayat president Kalaimani Annadurai, on Wednesday, met Pudukottai MLA Karthik R. Thondaiman and sought his immediate intervention. They also submitted a petition to the District Collector. They dispersed after the MLA and officials assured them of prompt action.
In the complaint to Vadakadu police, the villagers have sought adequate protection to the Karukkakurichi Vada Theru panchayat. A team of police personnel visited the village and conducted an inquiry with villagers.
Police pickets have been deployed in the village as a precautionary measure. No arrest has been made.