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Uthapuram’s Dalit women narrate tales of violence, allege police atrocities

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Reaching out: A team of CPI(M) MLAs with villagers at Uthapuram near Madurai on Tuesday.
Reaching out: A team of CPI(M) MLAs with villagers at Uthapuram near Madurai on Tuesday.

D. Karthikeyan

Villagers complain that everyday life has been affected and they are living amidst fear

MADURAI: A team of Assembly members belonging to the Communist Party of India (Marxist), led by K. Balabharathi, representing the Dindigul constituency, visited Uthapuram village on Tuesday to investigate allegations of “police atrocities” against Dalits.

Dalit women in the village narrated tales of violence following the clash that took place between the Dalits and caste Hindus on October 1. The women complained that 76 houses were damaged.

The MLAs alleged that in the name of conducting raids and search operations, lathi-wielding police personnel entered the houses of Dalits and damaged television sets, fans, tube lights, window panes, pump sets, water pipes, switch boards and doors.

The pattern of excess was like earlier incidents where affluent houses bore the brunt of the attack and women of all ages were not spared. Most of the women were unaware of the whereabouts of the male members of their families and had demanded that the MLAs ask the government to ensure their safe return.

The villagers alleged that everyday life had been affected and they were living amidst fear.

Normal life had been affected in the village and the district administration had not responded at all. Even after two weeks, the Collector had not visited the village, said K. Balabharathi. She said following Madurai MP P. Mohan’s intervention, medical facility was made available on Monday, but suspended on Tuesday.

She wanted the administration to arrange medical facilities.

The team, which included Madurai East MLA, N. Nanmaran, Gudiyatham MLA G. Latha, and Vilavancode MLA G. John Joseph, said that all the affected persons should be given compensation immediately.

They wanted the Chief Minister to appoint a judge to probe “police excesses” and take action against those found guilty.

Answering a query on not visiting the residential area of caste Hindus, the team said that there was no report of police atrocities against them. The CPI (M) plans to stage a protest to be led by its State secretary N. Varadarajan on October 18 at the North-West Masi Street Junction here.

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