Madurai

‘Caste band’ issue: student loses life after attack by juniors

Tension prevailed near Cheranmahadevi in the district for a while after a Plus Two student, who was allegedly attacked by a group of junior students belonging to another caste, died at the Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital on Saturday where he was undergoing treatment since April 25.

 The three teens, all Class 11 students, were arrested in connection with the murder and sent to the juvenile observation home.

 When M. Selva Surya, 17, an intermediate caste boy from Paappaakudi and Plus Two student of Pallakkaal Pothukkudi Government Higher Secondary School, and his friends objected to Dalit students wearing red and green caste wrist bands, it triggered a heated alteraction between both the groups on April 25. A scuffle subsequently broke out and Selva Surya was thrashed by the boys. They attacked him with a stone and the victim suffered internal haemorrhage in the head.

 After being rushed to the Ambasamudram Government Hospital, Selva Surya was referred to the Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital for radiological investigations and appropriate treatment. When the MRI scan done on the patient showed a blood clot inside the head, it was removed surgically. However, he died on Saturday not responding to treatment.

 Since the boys who assaulted him and Selva Surya were from different castes, tension prevailed around Cheranmahadevi, particularly at Paappaakudi, where the villagers staged a road roko for a while demanding the arrest of the all the culprits involved in the murder of Selva Surya. However, a police team, led by Deputy Superintendent of Police, Ambasamudram Sub-Division, L. Francis pacified the protestors with the assurance that the culprits would be arrested.

 As assured, the police secured the three teens from Pallakkaal Pothukkudi

Anyone entering rural areas in Tirunelveli, Tenkasi and Thoothukudi districts can easily know the ‘majority caste’ living in the particular area by the colours painted on the electric poles, culverts and other public buildings - yellow, red, green and the like. Posters carrying photos of caste leaders can be seen on the walls of public and private buildings.

Soon, school students took to wearing bands or ropes in specific colours. This led to altercations and verbal abuses. Scuffles were witnessed inside schools and sometimes it has spilled onto the streets.

Following this development, District Collector V. Vishnu has asked the heads of all educational institutions to convene the ‘School Advisory and Management Committee’ to ensure strict enforcement of the norms laid down by the Department of School Education in ensuring discipline among the students like removing wrist bands, cutting their hair properly, decent dressing and strictly banning the use of mobile phones on school premises.


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Printable version | Aug 10, 2022 9:11:23 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/caste-band-issue-student-loses-life-after-attack-by-juniors/article65369996.ece