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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Caste discrimination : Six inebriated men arrested for stripping, urinating on two dalit youths

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Chennai: After the assault on dalit siblings on alleged caste discrimination in a school in
the southern district of Tamil Nadu recently, yet another such incident has surfaced with a group of inebriated men, assaulting and stripping two youths of a lower caste and urinating on them in Tirunelveli district.

Not stopping with this, the culprits also took Rs 5,000 from their possession and their mobile phones and chased them away, with a warning that they should not disclose it in public or else face serious consequences.

The six men, who were under the influence of alcohol and drugs, were arrested after the alleged incident that took place on Monday, surfaced on Wednesday.

After getting the version of the victims, the Thatchanallur police in the southern Tirunelveli district admitted the victims to the Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital and arrested the six persons, hailing from an intermediate caste on charges assaulting, stripping and urinating on the two Scheduled Caste youths last evening.

The six accused were later produced before a court and remanded in judicial custody.

Condemning the incident, a member of the Forum working against untouchability and caste discrimination urged the Tamil Nadu government to take stern action to prevent such incidents, which had been on the rise.

Police sources said the youths Manoj Kumar (21) and his friend Mariappan (19) were returning home after a bath at the Tamirabharani river, when the accused, who were allegedly consuming liquor near the river, stopped them and asked them about their native place and their caste.

The victims told the police that when they revealed that they were from a Dalit hamlet, the inebriated men assaulted and stripped them and urinated on them.

“We were detained there till late night by the gang which also assaulted us with logs and rods. They also took Rs 5,000 and two mobile phones from us before chasing us away from the spot.

The victims went to a relative’s house nearby, contacted their parents and narrated their ordeal following which they were admitted to the hospital

Acting on a complaint from the victims, police have registered cases were under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, and arrested the

accused identified as Ponnumani ( 25), Nallamuthu (21); Aayiram (19), Ramar (22) Siva (22) and Lakshmanan (22), all residents of Palayamkottai.

This incident comes close on the heels of attack on two siblings–both students–recently that caused a furore among political parties in the state.

The incident took place in the month of August.

It may be recalled that a 17-year-old boy and his 14-year-old sister were brutally attacked with sickles, allegedly by a gang of students.

The siblings, who belong to the Scheduled Caste, were students of a government-aided school in Tamil Nadu’s Vallioor in Tirunelveli district, and had complained to the authorities about caste-based harassment.

The attack came after the boy, whose parents are daily wage labourers, approached his school headmaster to flag instances of harassment and bullying by upper caste students from his class, who had allegedly been forcing him to run errands such as buying cigarettes.

Unable to cope, he stopped attending school, prompting the school administration to summon him and his parents for inquiry. After the family elaborated on the boy’s ordeal, the administration issued a warning to the students allegedly harassing him.

Following this, the three students allegedly barged into victims’ home and assaulted him. His sister, who tried to intervene, was also attacked. Neighbours who heard their screams rushed them to Nanguneri government hospital, which had later referred them to Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital for further treatment.

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