Khap Panchayat Excommunicates Dalit Couple

Khap panchayat by Ramesh Babu, a caste Hindu, has ostracized a family from Arunthathiyar community for questioning his authority at Kattunayakanpatty village near Bodi in Theni district.

Published: 21st July 2015 11:31 PM  |   Last Updated: 21st July 2015 11:31 PM   |  A+A-

Madurai: Khap panchayat by Ramesh Babu, a caste Hindu, has ostracized a family from Arunthathiyar community for questioning his authority at Kattunayakanpatty village near Bodi in Theni district.

The last six months for Paramasivam, his wife Lakshmi and their three children who were forced to live in a makeshift thatched hut in a bushy area by the village tank bunds have been a nightmare.

"We have been spending sleepless nights for months fearing for our lives. Snakes and other reptiles often enter our house at night. My children are scared of snakes and they refused to sleep in the house. They are now at my father's place," said Paramasivam.

Though nearly 224 Arunthathiyar families live in the village, they refused to give a house on rent to the couple. They are scared of Ramesh Babu's wrath. He is also the vice president of Theni panchayat union.

"Twice I paid advance to my community members to rent a house, but they returned the money after Ramesh Babu threatened them," claimed Lakshmi.

As the khap panchayat passed an order directing the villagers not to speak to the couple; not to allow them to walk on the village roads or collect water from public taps; and sell grocery to them, the couple has been struggling for drinking water.

"I am walking nearly 3 kms a day to collect water from Venkatachalapuram village," Lakshmi said.

"We have to face this hardship because my husband dared to question Ramesh for misusing the panchayat for his personal gain. Though the village panchayat president Panthanam belongs to our community, he keeps silence," she said.

After the couple petitioned the district police repeatedly, the police filed an FIR against Ramesh Babu under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act on February 2015, but so far they haven't arrested him, said A Kathir, executive director, Evidence, a Madurai-based NGO working on Dalit issues.

"Everything happens in the village as ordered by the khap panchayat," said Kathir, adding that Evidence had sent a report to the DGP demanding immediate action.

When Express contacted a senior police officer, he denied there were khap panchayats in the village.

"Two caste Hindus tried to use Dalits for their personal reasons. We have found it was a mistake of fact and closed the case. The report has been sent to the collector," he claimed.

Kathir on the other hand claims, "Without asking the Dalit couple still living near the tank, how is it possible for the police to close the case as a mistake of fact? Nowadays Theni police close cases booked under the SC/ST Act as a mistake of fact. The police should re-probe the case to unearth the truth."

Stay up to date on all the latest Tamil Nadu news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp