Vengaivayal case | Dalits favour CBI probe, says Director of National Commission for Scheduled Castes

Adi Dravidars feel the case pertaining to mixing of faecal matter in water tank is not proceeding in the right direction, he says

February 06, 2024 06:41 pm | Updated 06:42 pm IST - PUDUKOTTAI

Director of National Commission for Scheduled Castes S. Ravivarman interacting with Adi Dravidars at Vengaivayal in Pudukottai district on Tuesday.

Director of National Commission for Scheduled Castes S. Ravivarman interacting with Adi Dravidars at Vengaivayal in Pudukottai district on Tuesday. | Photo Credit: MOORTHY M

The Director of National Commission for Scheduled Castes, S. Ravivarman, on Tuesday said Adi-Dravidar residents of Vengaivayal, Dalit organisations and political parties wanted a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the case of mixing of faeces in the overhead water tank at the village that supplied drinking water to the Dalit families. 

The incident was reported in December 2022 and is being probed by the Crime Branch CID for more than a year now after it was transferred to them from the Pudukottai District Police. 

Mr. Ravivarman conducted an inquiry at Vengaivayal in connection with the case and spoke to the affected Adi Dravidar families.  Mr. Ravivarman, who spent nearly an hour at the village, inspected the overhead water tank which had been shut and barricaded. 

Later he told journalists that the Adi Dravidars felt the case was not proceeding in the right direction. They had given a complaint based on their suspicions after the incident but no action was taken on it.  The incident took place following some problem between the panchayat president and the tank operator over sharing of water, according to the villagers.

Asked why it took more than a year for the Commission to visit Vengaivayal, Mr. Ravivarman said the Commission had been in touch with the Tamil Nadu government and was duly following it up with the Chief Secretary.  The Commission had received a communication when the DNA tests, as part of the CB-CID probe, had begun.  Since nothing fruitful emerged from the tests, the Commission’s Chairman had instructed him to visit the village, Mr. Ravivarman added.

Asked whether he was convinced with the line of investigation by the CB-CID, Mr. Ravivarman felt the DNA test would in no way help in finding the culprits.  The polluted water sample taken from the tank as part of investigation was very diluted and nothing fruitful could emerge from it, he claimed. 

Replying to another query, Mr. Ravivarman said the Adi Dravidars told him they had raised suspicions against some persons and inquiring them could have revealed the truth. Instead, they (Adi Dravidars) were being questioned repeatedly despite being the affected lot.

Mr. Ravivarman said he would submit his report to the Commission’s chairman and thereafter the latter has to decide on the plea for CBI probe and make recommendations.

Nonetheless, he said the CB-CID did not lack talent or skill and hoped the investigating agency would crack the case soon.

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