Tribal women accuse forest officials of putting them through strip-search

July 26, 2016 12:00 am | Updated 06:00 am IST - THENI:

A group of tribal women from Kadamalaikundu has demanded action against officials of Forest Department, who allegedly forced them to remove their saris in Cumbum reserve forests.

In a petition submitted to Superintendent of Police V. Baskaran here on Monday, S. Paputhai, of Paliyar Colony, Kadamalaikundu, said she and five other tribal families were returning home after collecting forest produce from Cumbum reserve forests on July 16 when a four-member team of forest officials, led by Ranger Sekar, intercepted them and seized the produce, including honey, and frisked them.

“They ordered my husband and other men to remove their shirts and dhotis in the name of checking.

“Later, they forced us to remove our saris in public. A sum of Rs. 2,000 and a mobile phone were seized from us,” she alleged.

Vindictive action alleged

On July 17, the Forest Department officials arrested five persons, who went to Varushanadu forest office, to question their atrocity against women.

“Now they are in Madurai prison,” said Dhanalakshmi, another tribal woman.

Forest officials said that a section of tribal people threw stones at Varushanadu forest office on July 17 and five persons were arrested and remanded in judicial custody in this connection.


The women appealed to the Superintendent of Police to take action against Forest Rangers Sekar and Karnan and other officials. A similar petition was submitted to Collector N. Venkatachalam.

The Collector said that the petition had been forwarded to Uthamapalayam police for investigation.

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