They are thrown out due to Fact Finding Mission: Caste mocks at Democracy

27Oct09

A team of four NGOs that went on a fact-finding mission to T Veppankulam village in Virudhunagar district following a clash between Dalits and caste Hindus, reported that the entire Dalit population of the village had been terrorised and moved to another locality.
On October 3, villagers were being photographed for ID cards for the Kalaignar Health Insurance Scheme. According to Prof A Marx of the People’s Union for Human Rights, Kannan, a caste Hindu, was in charge of taking the photos. Some Dalit youths asked him why the photos of the Dalits in the village were not being taken. Allegedly enraged at this questioning, Kannan along with some others three Dalit youths. “They then chased all of the 36 families from the village. They were initially not even allowed to lodge a complaint,” B Shenbagavalli, of the Centre for Working Women, said.

On October 24, four NGOs went to T Veppankulam, about 40 km from Madurai. “We found that the families had fled in fear to Chinna Kariyapatti, a nearby village, where they were staying in a small, ramshackle shed. There are no toilet or cooking facilities. The children have not been able to go back to their village school and the men have not been able to go for work since the clash,” she said.

The district authorities held two peace meetings between both groups, but the caste Hindus insisted that the Dalit should follow their tradition, but the Dalits refused, she said. Police complaints were filed. But again, according to the activists, the Dalits were prevented for some time from filing their complaint, which led to the caste Hindus filing a complaint against the Dalits.

The activists have now decided to approach the Virudhunagar Collector to intervene in the issue.
Source: IndianExpress



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