Pudukottai’s Sangamviduthi water tank incident: Madurai Bench of Madras High Court orders CB-CID probe

Updated - May 16, 2024 11:47 am IST

Published - May 15, 2024 08:43 pm IST - MADURAI

A view of Madurai Bench of Madras High Court.

A view of Madurai Bench of Madras High Court. | Photo Credit: R. Ashok

Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Wednesday ordered a CB-CID probe into Sangamviduthi village water tank incident. The court was hearing the public interest litigation petition that cited a recent complaint of cow dung found mixed in water stored in an overhead tank in Sangamviduthi village in Pudukkottai district.

A Division Bench of Justices P. Velmurugan and K. Rajasekar sought a status report on the progress made in the investigation and posted the matter to June 5. The petitioner, S. Shanmugam of Karambakudi, a member of Periyar-Ambedkar Makkal Kazhagam complained about caste-based discrimination in Pudukkottai district.

The petitioner said that while the case of mixing of human faeces in a water tank at Vengaivayal in the district was yet to be cracked, another complaint of contamination of water in an overhead tank with cow dung in Sangamviduthi had been made.

He said the members of the organisation had visited the village on April 26, a day after the complaint was made, and found that many people had fallen sick.

The petitioner complained that incidents of caste discrimination were taking place in Pudukkottai district. The two-tumbler system was still being followed. Scheduled Caste people were not allowed to drink from the same tumblers used by those from the intermediate castes, he said.

The Scheduled Caste people were asked to sit in separate places and they were also not allowed to use common ponds and community halls, the petitioner said.

He sought a CB-CID probe into the complaint of cow dung found mixed in drinking water. He also sought a direction to the State to provide adequate compensation to the villagers and eradicate all forms of caste discrimination in the district.

The court also ordered private notice to the owners of tea shops where the two-tumbler system was allegedly followed.

Status report

Meanwhile, in a status report, the Deputy Superintendent of Police of Pudukkottai has said the samples of water collected from the tank were sent for test. The analysis revealed that physically the water was colourless and clear. Chemically it was moderately hard, and safe for drinking. Bacteriologically, it is of satisfactory quality and fit for drinking.

The allegation of cow dung mixed in the water in the overhead tank was not proved, it was submitted.

It was also submitted that two-tumbler system was never followed in Pudukottai district and no representations had been given with regard to SC people not being allowed to use common ponds and community halls.

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