Constitute a separate panel to look into it, says CPI(M)
TIRUPUR: Nearly 400 activists of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Adhi Thamizhar Peravai were arrested on Friday while they tried to block traffic here asking the State Government to appoint a committee to provide compartmental reservation for Arundhathiars under the 18 per cent quota for Scheduled Castes.
C. Govindasamy, MLA, presided over the agitation. The party’s Coimbatore East district secretary K. Kamaraj and peravai functionary Bavuthan squatted on the road in front of the old bus stand for a while.
Mr. Govindasamy said 18 per cent reservation for Dalits in education and employment did not benefit a vast majority of the Arundhathiars, cobblers and scavengers in the State.
A separate reservation was essential for the ‘Dalits among Dalits.’
Recalling a rally held in Chennai on June 12 by the CPI(M) with this demand,
Mr. Govindasamy said the Government had promised the CPI(M) leaders to appoint a committee to find ways and means to provide separate reservation.
The agitators asked the Government to absorb all the undertakers at burial grounds of local bodies in the State as assistants and treat them as Government employees like in Chennai Corporation.
Terming manual scavenging a shame on society, the agitators wanted the Government to put an end to the practice.
Mr. Govindasamy asked the Government to bring cobblers under the welfare board and constitute one for conservancy workers.
In Udumalpet, 84 activist of CPI(M), including 10 women led by K. Thangavel, State secretariat member, were arrested when they tried to block traffic asking the State Government to provide separate reservation for Arundhathiars.