Maraikulam Dalits feel threatened

Despite peace committee meetings held thrice in the presence of Arupukottai RDO and two FIRs registered by A. Mukkulam police.

Updated - June 18, 2015 08:41 am IST

Published - June 18, 2015 12:00 am IST - VIRUDHUNAGAR:

Some of the caste Hindu youths had not only threatened the dalits, they alleged, they had also attacked them with deadly weapons. (Picture for representative purposes)

Some of the caste Hindu youths had not only threatened the dalits, they alleged, they had also attacked them with deadly weapons. (Picture for representative purposes)

Dalits of S. Maraikulam village in Kariapatti taluk are frightened by the unsavoury acts of some caste Hindu youths.

Despite peace committee meetings held thrice in the presence of Arupukottai RDO and two FIRs registered by A. Mukkulam police, normal life seems to have been by and large disturbed.

While public feel that the lethargy shown by the administrators had let the petty problems snowball into a major controversy, Dalits alleged that lack of firm police action had precipitated anger in the hamlet.

A delegation led by S. Karuppiah of Dalit Liberation Movement submitted a memorandum to the Collector here on Tuesday, praying for speedy action and justice.

Using their clout in the political and administrative circles, some of the caste Hindu youths in the hamlet had not only threatened Dalits with dire consequences but also attacked them with deadly weapons.

For instance, when a Dalit, Karuppu, had let his milch animal graze in a poromboke land, a group chased away the animal and attacked him. Karuppu (47) is convalescing at Arupukottai Government Hospital for the last one week.

Then the attackers went to the hamlet and damaged the dwellings of Amirtham (70) and Josudas (37) for allowing their milch animals graze in the lands.

A primary school run by the CSI in the locality was damaged and the food meant for children at the noon-meal centre was also destroyed by the gang, which identified itself as a caste Hindu group.

In another incident, when a youth, P. Ruparaj, was riding his two-wheeler along S. Maraikulam, caste Hindus objected to his riding the bike on the stretch, where caste Hindus predominantly lived.

Whenever the locals raised issues of discrimination with the district administration, a peace meeting was convened but the decisions taken at the meeting were not implemented due to the non-cooperation of caste Hindus, Mr. Karuppiah claimed, and alleged that Dalits lived with fear for their lives.

A senior police officer said that they had registered cases under SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act against many accused. Similarly, based on complaints from caste Hindus, a case had been booked against Dalits, including Ayyavoo, an AIADMK functionary, who was remanded in judicial custody.

Dalits have demanded quashing of the FIR registered against them as they claimed that it was fake and urged the State government to permit them to graze their milch animals in the hamlet, failing which they have threatened to vacate their dwellings.

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