The State Government on Friday transferred to the Crime Branch CID (CB-CID) the investigation into the caste violence in Dharmapuri in which 268 Dalit homes were burned down recently by Vanniyars at Naickenkottai village. The incident was sparked by the suicide of a caste Hindu man who was dejected over his daughter eloping with a Scheduled Caste boy of the village.
Dalit villagers of Natham Colony, Anna Nagar and Kondampatti welcomed the decision by setting off fire crackers.
Sources said the Director General of Police had issued an order transferring the probe in the case to the CB-CID as locals, political leaders and civil rights activists had expressed doubts over the investigations by the police.
Besides, it was alleged that the police had failed to prevent the large scale violence. Recently, an Inspector and Sub-Inspector in Dharmapuri were placed under suspension for not taking steps to prevent the arson.
Dharmapuri district CPI secretary and MLA N Nanjappan hailed the Government’s decision to transfer the case of the CB-CID. “Both the district administration and the police department had acted swiftly and effectively after the violent incidents. They ensured that the caste clash did not spread to other parts of the district,” he said.
Nanjappan, nonetheless, appealed to the Government to take further steps to permanently end caste conflict between the upper castes and Scheduled Caste people in the State.
However, Harur MLA P Dillibabu, who belongs to the CPM, was not all that positive about the development. “Merely transferring the investigation into the case to the CB-CID will not bear fruit unless they conduct an impartial probe into the incident and arrest the real culprits,” he said. The Government must direct the CB-CID to speed up the investigations so that justice is not delayed for the victims.