Dalits of Athalai Colony, near Pothumbu village in Madurai, have alleged that they were being forced to prostrate before the bodies of caste Hindus during the funeral procession.
S M Radhakrishnan of Athalai Colony, in a petition to the Collector, said there were 20 households of Dalits and around 300 families of caste Hindus in their village.
He said that his duty was to open the sluice in the tank to release water for irrigation. “I do not know any work other than this”, he said.
However, some members of a dominant community along with the president of the village panchayat used to force members of Dalit community to dig pits and prepare the bier, whenever a member from the dominant community died, Radhakrishnan alleged.
Moreover, when the mortal remains of a member of dominant community was taken to the burial ground, members of Dalit community were asked to prostrate before the bier, he alleged.
“The complaint I have lodged against this atrocity to the Samayanallur police was of no avail. Even though the harassment was brought to the knowledge of the police, no action was taken,” he claimed.
Hence, the district administration should take legal action against those who perpetuate such atrocities against Dalits in the village, the petitioner appealed.
After receiving the complaint, the Collector has ordered the Revenue Divisional Officer, Madurai, to enquire into the allegations.
Talking to Express, Collector Anshul Mishra said if it was found, during the investigations, that there was such a compulsion on dalits to do these kinds of work, action would definitely be initiated against the culprits.