Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) leader Thol. Thirumavalan on Thursday called for declaring Thally Assembly constituency “atrocity-prone” in the backdrop of the recurring murder of Dalits.
Mr. Thirumavalavan led a protest public meeting here to condemn the recent murder of Narasimhamoorthy, the Dalit panchayat president of Tharvendiram in Thally, along with the nine other murders reported in the constituency over the last year.
According to Mr. Thirumavalavan, irrespective of the government in power, the real power is with the officials on the ground.
He cited a study by Madurai-based Dalits rights organisation, Evidence. Its survey of 32 districts reported that atrocities against Dalits were the highest in Madurai, followed by Thanjavur, Tiruchi, Pudukottai and Sivaganga.
The Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act was passed in 1989 and the rules were formulated many years later in 1995. However, even decades later, the Act had not helped stem the pattern of violence against Dalits, Mr. Thirumavalavan said.
On the implications of the POA (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, Mr. Thirumavalavan said none of the stringent provisions including filing of FIR against officials refusing to register an FIR under the Act was used. “As the implementation rests with the bureaucracy, the officials are either lax or biased and complicit because of caste affection,” he alleged.
Both the police and revenue officials should be given training and orientation to look at the immediate cause and the social cause. Even before society, it was the police and the officials, who required social awareness to deal with crimes against Dalits, Mr. Thirumavalavan said. He called for adequate compensation to the families of the victims by the government.