The two main Dalit parties in the State have said the government failed to protect the life of E. Ilavarasan, the youth who married a woman outside his caste and was found dead in Dharmapuri two days ago.
Puthiya Tamilagam founder K. Krishnaswamy, MLA, and Viduthalai Chiruthaikal Katchi leader Thol Thirumavalavan said the government should have adopted a tough stand against the Pattali Makkal Katchi’s (PMK) campaign against inter-caste marriages.
“That a marriage involving in inter-caste couple could not be saved indicates the failure of the State,” Dr. Krishnasamy said in an interview to The Hindu on Saturday. Dr. Krishnasamy said the Anaithu Samudhaya Padhugapu Iyakkam, forum of non-Dalit castes, was established in the State and anti-scheduled caste feelings were fomented. This was against the Constitution and could attract action under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
The government machinery, which ought to protect the weaker sections, did nothing to prevent such a forum from spewing anti-Dalit rhetoric.
“Except for the District Collector in Madurai, none of the civil services officers saw it as a menacing law and order issue or practice of discrimination.”
The forum sought to create a wedge between communities.
“The government gave a long rope to these casteist forces to function and gain a psychological impetus to oppress the SCs. If the State had taken proper action, the Dalit boy’s death could have been prevented,” the PT leader added.
Both the Central and State governments should have taken the inter-caste marriage seriously and should have intervened to provide asylum to the couple. Speaking to The Hindu Mr. Thirumavalavan said he felt guilty he was not able to protect Ilavarasan’s life. “The whole episode, starting from the Dharmapuri anti-Dalit violence to the separation of the inter-caste couple, was orchestrated by the PMK with political motives.”
The PMK took complete control of the girl’s family and twisted the matter in court.
“The government which supports inter-caste marriages with financial assistance under special schemes failed to protect the inter-caste couple.”
The VCK demanded a judicial enquiry, steps to free Divya and her family from the PMK’s influence and provide both the two families with family adequate police protection.
Left parties for proper inquiry
Special Correspondent from Chennai writes:
Leaders of the CPI and the CPI (M) on Saturday demanded a proper inquiry into the death Ilavarasan.
“Everyone should hang their head in shame as it had happened in a State known for its long tradition of social justice. The people of Tamil Nadu should reject the casteist forces that are responsible for Ilavarasan’s death,” CPI state secretary D. Pandian and CPI (M) secretary G. Ramakrishnan said in a joint press conference. Mr. Pandian said people in Dharmapuri suspected the theory of suicide and it was the government’s duty to clarify their doubts through a proper inquiry. Asked whether he thought it was murder, Mr. Pandian said if it was a murder, it would mean that adequate protection was not given to Ilavarasan.
Mr. Ramakrishnan said it was immaterial whether the probe should be conducted by the CBI or a judicial commission. “What is important is a proper inquiry.”
Tamil Nadu Congress president B.S. Gnanadesikan said the government had the responsibility to bring out the truth.
He said the relationship was between two individuals and the appropriation of personal issues for gaining political mileage did not augur well for society.