Thirumavalavan dismisses PMK’s criticism

The Viduthalai Chiruthaikal Katchi (VCK) is planning to bring together Left and other parties against violence by casteist outfits on Dalits.

“We will hold a demonstration in Chennai on Monday. Leaders of Communist Party of India, CPI (Marxist), and Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam will participate in the agitation,” the VCK leader Thol. Thirumavalavan told The Hindu.

Confirming his participation, CPI (M) State secretary G. Ramakrishnan said oppressed sections of the society including Dalits needed organisations to fight for their rights and it could not be seen from a casteist angle.

Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam leader Kolathur Mani and Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation (TESO) leader Suba Veerapandian will attend the Monday demonstration.

Responding to Pattali Makkal Katchi’s criticism against the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, Mr. Thirumavalavan dismissed it and said that what was indeed required was a stronger law.

“We also want amendments to the Act to make it stronger. The poor conviction rate goes to show that the present law is inadequate to put an end to atrocities against Dalits,” he said.

He was reacting to the observation of the PMK founder S. Ramadoss that the poor conviction rate under the 1989 Act showed most of the cases were foisted due to vendetta.

Earlier in the day, a meeting of groups of intermediate castes, chaired by Dr. Ramadoss, called upon the government to constitute district-level monitoring committees under the chairmanship of the district magistrate to scrutinise the cases filed under the Act.

Asked whether his effort of bringing together of non-Dalit leaders against Dalits would not further aggravate the situation, Dr. Ramadoss said the objective was to maintain the harmony which was under threat because of the attitude of a few Dalit individuals.

Through another resolution, the meeting also demanded that constituencies reserved for SCs be rotated once in ten years.

Reiterating his opposition to inter-caste marriages involving Dalit boys and non-Dalit girls, Dr. Ramadoss called for a probe by a former Judge of the Madras High Court to go into the circumstances that led to such marriages. The PMK leader also claimed that of the 955 inter-caste marriages, 712 had ended in failure in Namakkal district and 32 young girls and 37 parents had committed suicide because of the marriages.

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