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Eight of Dalit family attacked

R. Arivanantham
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The assault was carried out allegedly by caste Hindus in a Dharmapuri village

The injured Dalit woman S. Sudha and her Vanniyar husband G. Sureshof Veppamarathur village, near Bommidi in Dharmapuri district.— Photo: Special Arrangement
The injured Dalit woman S. Sudha and her Vanniyar husband G. Sureshof Veppamarathur village, near Bommidi in Dharmapuri district.— Photo: Special Arrangement

Eight members of the family of a Dalit woman who married a Vanniyar were injured in an attack allegedly by the Caste Hindus in Veppamarathur village near Bommidi in Dharmapuri district on Wednesday evening.

G. Suresh, husband of S. Sudha, told The Hindu over phone that about 20 men led by the panchayat president Ranganathan attacked the family members with stones and wooden logs and also abused them on caste lines.

Suresh, his wife, father Gopal, mother Palaniammal, younger brother G. Ramesh and three others were injured in the incident.

He said the attack took place immediately after the Revenue Divisional Officer, P. Menaka, the Harur Deputy Superintendent of Police, V. Sampath, visited the house to inquire about an application of Ms. Sudha for licence to possess a firearm.

Mr. Sampath said the clash erupted after the panchayat president was allegedly attacked by Ms. Sudha and her family members in the presence of two policemen.

It was also alleged that the policemen were attacked by Ms. Sudha and others when they tried to resist the assault on Mr. Ranganathan.

The panchayat president and a few others who were reportedly injured in the attack were taken to a hospital.

Meanwhile, the police picket was increased in the area and further reinforcements were being rushed, Mr. Sampath added.

Ms. Sudha had submitted a petition to the National Commission for Scheduled Castes in Chennai on November 28, seeking its help to obtain a gun licence.

In her complaint, she alleged harassment and repeated threats to her life even as the district administration had provided her police cover.

She complained of constant harassment which increased after the attack on Dalit colonies in Naikkankottai after the Ilavarasan-Divya marriage in 2012. Her family was not allowed to draw water from the common tap and even prevented from entering the temple.

Ms. Sudha lodged a complaint with the Bommidi police, who registered a case under the provisions of the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989. Since no action was taken against the accused, she filed a petition in the Madras High Court, which directed the Dharmapuri distinct administration to provide adequate protection to the petitioner.

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