Village ostracises Vanniyar youth’s family for marrying a Dalit girl in Dharmapuri district

Even before the district has fully recovered from the reverberations set off by the tragic end to the life of Dalit youth Ilavarasan after his inter-caste marriage, another couple is facing trouble.

G. Suresh (31) belongs to the Vanniyar community and his wife S. Sudha (23) is a Dalit. Village elders belonging to the Vanniyar community have ordered a social boycott against them.

The youth’s family at Veppamarathur village has been ostracised allegedly by people of his community for having married a Dalit woman from Parayapatti in Harur taluk.

Alleging no action had been taken on a complaint she lodged with Bommidi police on June 22, Sudha submitted a petition to the Superintendent of Police Asra Garg on Wednesday, seeking protection from those who opposed the marriage.

Sudha said she and Suresh got married on April 21, 2010 with the consent of the parents on both sides. After the wedding, Suresh went to Hosur for work every day and Sudha stayed with her in-laws at Veppamarathur village. The couple then had a male child.

Trouble

Trouble began around May-end when villagers at Veppamarathur collected Rs. 1,000 from every house to celebrate the Mariamman Temple festival. When they came to know that Suresh was married to a Dalit, they returned the money his family had contributed.

Suresh told The Hindu that the Rs. 14,000 his family contributed earlier for the construction of the temple was also returned.

The village elders then convened a ‘panchayat’, which ordered that none from Suresh’s family should enter the temple. They were also barred them from drawing water from common facilities and other villagers were asked not to have any contact with the couple’s family.

It was alleged that even before the elders’ meeting was held, some persons entered their house on June 7 and beat up everyone.

Only then did the couple get their marriage registered (on June 12). They feared an attack on the scale of the November 7, 2012 mob fury on Natham Colony (where Ilavarasan lived).

Sudha lodged police complaint on June 22.

Yet to be arrested

A case was registered under Sections 147 (unlawful assembly), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 506 (1) (criminal intimidation) of Indian Penal Code and Section 3 (1) (XIV) of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Act against 22 persons, including former village panchayat president Ranganathan and village head Periyasamy. But, none of them has been arrested yet.

Harur Deputy Superintendent of Police V. Sampath is investigating the case.

When contacted, DSP V. Sampath said the accused could not be arrested as they had obtained anticipatory bail from a local court.

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