Chennai

VCK demands investigation into police’s decision to cremate 17 bodies without consent

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Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi general secretary Sinthanai Selvan on Wednesday visited Nadur village near Mettupalayam in Coimbatore district to meet the families of 17 victims who died due to a wall collapse.

He condemned the act of police for allegedly cremating the bodies of victims without letting families conduct proper rituals and allowing time for grieving the dead.

Demanding a thorough enquiry into the police action, Mr. Selvan said that the violence that was unleashed by the police on the activists fighting for the rights of victims’ families was bad, but the police disallowing a proper send-off for the victims by their families was worse.

“We only saw the video of violence that the police unleashed on the activists. But, the way police cremated the bodies on evening of December 2 was much worse. They denied the relatives of victims a chance to pay their respects and perform rituals according to their religious beliefs. Why did they police cremate them in such a hurry? This needs to be investigated,” said Mr. Selvan.

He added that the officials have to ensure that the constructions in the area should be done in keeping with proper regulations and without violations.

“While I agree that essential ‘protective’ wall and other types of construction to prevent landslides etc. need to be built, VCK also demands that the old sand houses be rebuilt and all types of construction strictly follow regulations,” he said.

He also said that a part of the reason for his visit was to reconfirm whether the wall was built as a discriminatory measure against the Dalits.

Underlining that this ‘wall’ was not similar to other walls that are built to prevent access to Dalits, he said, “The village is on a slope – houses have been built one below the other on the slope. It is indeed a common practice here to build a wall to keep people off the private property or animals or as a precautionary measure against landslides. The sheer height of the wall makes it clear that it was meant as a symbol of caste and class dominance.”

He added, “Even the people aren’t saying that the wall was built to kill them, but that nobody listened to them when they complained.”

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Printable version | Dec 10, 2019 4:03:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/vck-demands-investigation-into-polices-decision-to-cremate-17-bodies-without-consent/article30170782.ece

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