In a new twist to the incident at the Ottarpalayam village office near Coimbatore where a dominant caste man allegedly made a Dalit Village Assistant (VA) prostrate and apologise on August 6, a new video showed that the VA had assaulted the man a few minutes before the incident.
After the video surfaced, the Revenue Department transferred the VA, P. Muthusamy and the Village Administrative Officer, V. Kalaiselvi, to separate village offices in Coimbatore district on Wednesday.
District Collector G.S. Sameeran said that necessary criminal and disciplinary action will be initiated against the VA and the VAO based on the new video evidence.
Annur police had registered two cases against the dominant caste man, K. Gopalsamy, for making casteist remarks against Muthusamy and for preventing public servants from discharging their duty.
The incident happened after Gopalsamy had an argument with the VAO over an issue in his land document and Muthusamy intervened. Gopalsamy was booked after a video showed Muthusamy falling at his feet and apologising to him. Muthusamy had said in his complaint that Gopalsamy fell down while he was trying to make him sit on a bench at the office and the latter accused him of pushing down a dominant caste man. He alleged that Gopalsamy demanded he apologise for having pushed down a dominant caste man.
The VAO’s complaint said that Gopalsamy prevented the government servants from discharging their duty. He was booked under different Sections of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and the IPC.
A team headed by District Revenue Officer P.S. Leela Alex had conducted an inquiry into the incident and her report said that there was evidence of Mr. Muthusamy falling at Gopalsamy’s feet and apologising.
Revenue Department sources said that the VAO and the VA submitted false information to the inquiry team by not revealing Muthusamy’s assault on Gopalsamy, for which they will face disciplinary action.
After the new video came to light, Tamilaga Vivasayigal Sangam (non-political) has demanded that against Gopalsamy be dropped and that the police book the VAO and the VA.
Gopalsamy, a resident of Gobirasipuram near Annur, had lodged a complaint with the Annur police on August 6 evening stating that he was assaulted by the VA. The police are yet to register a case on the complaint.