Tamil Nadu

‘Wall of discrimination’ fell on houses, allege Dalit, Muslim bodies


Mettupalayam GH turns protest venue

The compound wall of a house that fell on three other houses in Nadur, killing 17 people on Monday, was a wall of discrimination (theendaamai suvar), Dalit and Muslim organisations have alleged.

They staged a protest in front of the Mettupalayam Government Hospital on Monday.

Nagai Tiruvalluvan, president, Tamil Puligal Katchi, who mobilised residents of Nadur inside the hospital even as the postmortem of the victims’ bodies was being carried out, alleged that the wall that collapsed was not merely a compound wall, but one that the house owner – a textile trader in Mettupalayam – had constructed to keep Dalits away.

Though the wall was on private property, the owner had no right to keep Dalits away. Just because Dalits were living behind his property, he had constructed the compound wall, which was poorly built, Mr. Tiruvalluvan alleged.

“The complaint is about the construction in itself being illegal, and not just the poor quality of construction,” he said before leading the residents on a protest blocking the arterial Ooty Road.

Mr. Tiruvalluvan, who slammed the State government for “doing nothing” for the kin of the deceased, said the ₹4 lakh solatium the government had announced was inadequate.

“Is the value of the life of each of the deceased only ₹4 lakh? Is it because they are Dalits?” he said, referring to the higher compensation provided to the kin of victims of other tragedies.

Besides demanding ₹25 lakh as solatium and government jobs for the kin of the deceased, Mr. Tiruvalluvan sought action against the property owner under the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 7:02:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/wall-of-discrimination-fell-on-houses-allege-dalit-muslim-bodies/article30142754.ece

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