The police on Sunday registered two cases against a caste Hindu who allegedly forced a village office assistant, belonging to a Scheduled Caste community, to fall at his feet, at the Ottarpalayam village office near Annur in Coimbatore district on Friday.
K. Gopalsamy, 38, from Gobirasipuram near Annur, was booked for making casteist remarks against P. Muthusamy, 56, a Dalit working as a thandalkarar at the village office, and for preventing public servants from discharging their duty.
The action was taken a day after a video of Mr. Muthusamy falling at the feet of Gopalsamy and apologising to him was widely circulated.
Cases were registered under Sections of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and the IPC, based on complaints lodged by Mr. Muthusamy and village administrative officer V. Kalaiselvi.
With Gopalsamy’s act drawing widespread criticism, Coimbatore Collector G.S. Sameeran tasked a team, headed by District Revenue Officer P.S. Leela Alex, to conduct an inquiry. Ms. Alex’s report considered the video the main evidence. It also showed Gopalsamy admitting his mistake and accepting the Dalit man’s apology.
Based on the inquiry, the Collector sent a letter to Coimbatore District (Rural) Superintendent of Police S. Selvanagarathinam, directing him to take action against Gopalsamy.
The Collector’s letter said no one had seen Mr. Muthusamy beating Gopalsamy, as claimed by him in a complaint to the police. At the same time, it was established that Gopalsamy caused trouble at the office and asked Mr. Muthusamy to fall at his feet. The police said the thandalkarar initially refused to file a complaint and gave one only after the completion of the Revenue Department’s inquiry. Mr. Selvanagarathinam and senior officers refused to comment.