An inter-caste married couple was excommunicated by elders in a village in Dharmapuri district recently.
G. Suresh (30), belonging to Vanniyar community married a Dalit girl S. Sudha (23) three years ago and were living in Hosur. The couple returned to the village Veppamarathur near Bommidi recently to participate in a temple festival along with their child.
The villagers collected Rs. 1,500 from every household to fund the temple festival. When they came to know that Suresh was married to a Dalit girl, the villagers returned the money he had contributed. The village elders later convened an informal panchayat, which ordered that they should not enter into the temple, barred their family from drawing water from common facilities and asked the villagers not to have any social contact with the couple.
Ms. Sudha lodged a complaint with the Bommidi police station. The police have registered a case under provisions of the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, and IPC sections relating to criminal intimidation, among other offences, against 22 people. Those named in the FIR included the former village panchayat president Ranganathan and village head Periyasamy. The case is being investigated by the Harur Deputy Superintendent of Police.