Hacking of SC boy | One-man panel to suggest steps to stamp out caste differences among students

The decision comes after an incident at Nanguneri in which two school students of the Scheduled Caste were hacked by a group of students of an intermediate caste. Committee of retired Madras High Court judge K. Chandru will obtain the opinion of stakeholders and submit a report, says CM

Updated - August 13, 2023 02:33 am IST

Published - August 12, 2023 07:09 pm IST - CHENNAI

Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Thangam Thennarasu with the kin of the students at a hospital in Tirunelveli on August 12, 2023. 

Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Thangam Thennarasu with the kin of the students at a hospital in Tirunelveli on August 12, 2023. 

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin has appointed retired Madras High Court judge K. Chandru as the one-man committee to advise the government on measures to eliminate caste and racial differences among students in educational institutions.

The committee has been constituted in the wake of the recent incident at Nanguneri in Tirunelveli district in which two school children belonging to the Scheduled Castes were hacked by a group of students from an intermediate caste.

Also read |SC boy was humiliated repeatedly in school by classmates, says fact-finding team from Evidence

Noting that the incident had shown the “bitter truth” that a section of students were unnecessarily indulging in caste-related issues, Mr. Stalin said in a statement that the spread of casteist feelings among the youth in Tamil Nadu was not good for State’s welfare.

The committee had been formed since this was an important issue that had to be addressed urgently, he added.

The committee, he said, would obtain the opinion from a cross-section of people, including educationists, students, parents, social-thinkers and journalists, and submit a report that will suggest the type of measures that the government can take to create an environment without caste and racial differences among students.

Stating that the incident had deeply pained him, Mr. Stalin added that the government was implementing people-oriented schemes for education, skill development and employment with a view to create a Tamil Nadu where the future society can live with fraternity and without regressive thoughts of casteism.

The Chief Minister recalled that he had immediately asked Minister for Finance and Human Resources Management Thangam Thennarasu to visit the affected family and console them. Minister for School Education Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi had assured that he would take care of the affected boy’s educational expenses, he added.

Mr. Stalin also spoke to the mother of the students and assured her of all assistance from the government. The police arrested six persons in connection with the incident and detained them in a correctional home.

Leaders visit family

On behalf of the Chief Minister, Mr. Thennarasu; Assembly Speaker M. Appavu; MLAs from the district; and Collector K.P. Karthikeyan visited the students who are undergoing treatment at the Super Speciality Wing in the Government Medical College Hospital.

Dean Revathi Balan and other doctors explained the treatment being given to the siblings and said they were recovering well.

Addressing reporters, Mr. Thennarasu said the government would not spare any kind of ill-treatment to any student. Officials were told to form committees and sensitise students and their parents. “We will ensure that corrective measures are taken...,” he said.

Asked about the request from the students’ parents to shift them to another school, the Minister said they would be moved to a school in Palayamkottai with hostel facilities.

“We will take care of the boy’s education and ensure that he is provided a cordial environment,” he added.

Mr. Thennarasu further said the government had disbursed a relief amount to the family from the SC/ST Fund, and on behalf of the Chief Minister, the DMK gave ₹2 lakh to the family, he added.

The police have been instructed to tighten the vigil in the village as people belonging to the Scheduled Castes expressed apprehension that the dominant caste groups might regroup and target them.

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