Protection for Thulayanatham Dalits sought

Evidence, the Madurai-based human rights organisation, has appealed to the District Collector and Superintendent of Police to provide protection to Dalits of Thulayanatham village in Musiri taluk in the wake of the alleged attacks on them last month.

While urging the State government to take steps to provide relief to those Dalits whose houses were damaged, the organisation has sought compensation of Rs.5 lakh each to the affected. It urged the police to book a case under various sections of the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 and arrest those involved. In a press release, A. Kathir, Executive Director, Evidence, said a fact-finding team of the organisation visited the affected village recently to ascertain the situation following the attacks.

The release claimed that a group of caste Hindus of Thulayanatham and other places entered the locality of the Dalits and attacked them besides damaging their houses. The assault took place a day after some Dalit youths were intercepted and attacked by a group of caste Hindus when the former were returning after witnessing a cultural programme organised as part of a temple festival held at Mangalam village where a wordy quarrel broke out between them.

Forty-one Dalit houses were damaged and three members of the community including a woman sustained injuries, Mr.Kathir said. The Thathiengarpet police arrested 24 caste Hindus and booked a case under various sections of the IPC read with section 3(1) (X) of SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 and 3 (1) of the TNPPD Act.

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