Tamil Nadu

Gang murdered Dalit youth for questioning it: fact-finding team

Expressing concern over easy access to ganja, a fact-finding team from Evidence, an NGO in Madurai, appealed to police to deal with the issue with an iron hand.

A Dalit youth, Pasupathi Kannan, 27, of Manthai Aman Koil Street in Sikkandar Chavadi here, reportedly questioned some youth for misbehaving in public four days ago, and he was allegedly murdered within two days.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Evidence Executive Director A. Kathir said when the local youth brought a cake to celebrate birthday of one of them on Manthai Amman Koil Street and were cutting it with a plastic knife, some youth descended there and brandished knives and aruvals to cut the cake. They were also smoking ganja and teasing the local youth.

When Pasupathi Kannan objected to them smoking ganja in front of the temple and carrying the weapons, the gang started a wordy altercation with him. However, some of the elders in the area asked them to leave the place.

When Pasupathi Kannan was sitting with his friends near a stream in Sikkandar Chavadi after two days, the armed gang came to the spot and attacked him. He was rushed to Government Rajaji Hospital, where doctors declared him dead.

Koodal Pudur police registered cases under Sections 147, 148, 149, 294 (b), 302 and 506 (2) of the IPC and 3 (2) (va) of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 2015. They also arrested five accused, including a juvenile, and detained them in Melur sub-jail.

The fact-finding team members said ganja was easily accessible to the youth and a majority of them were addicted to it. There could not be any other reason for the murder as there was no previous enmity, they claimed and appealed to the police to put an end to the menace.

The officials had given ₹6 lakh (50% of the solatium for death of a Dalit) to the family of Pasupathi Kannan. The wife of Pasupathi Kannan, a graduate, said she was unable to understand why her husband was killed.

“Was it wrong to question the youth for smoking ganja?,” she asked the team members, holding her three-month-old girl child, Mr. Kathir said, and urged the State government to give her an employment and provide a pension of ₹15,000 to the victim’s parents. He also demanded the arrest of the other suspects.

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Printable version | May 18, 2022 9:17:39 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/madurai/article65084449.ece