Theendamai Ozhippu Munnani (Movement Against Untouchability), affiliated to the CPM, have discovered another instance of a wall dividing castes in Ward 1 of Nagapalayam in Kodumudi Town panchayat.
Talking to Express here on Saturday, the Movement’s district president and retired DRO M Annadurai said that following reports that a wall was put up to block residents of a dalit colony from accessing the main road and a Mariamman Temple there, the Munnani team visited the spot and held a probe.
The team found that the disputed wall stretched over a length of about 178 metres blocking the residents of the entire dalit colony from accessing the main road. As many as 56 families were given pattas by the Adi Dravida Welfare Department in 2010 to set up houses at the colony. On other side of the road, an old dalit colony existed where an equal number of families lived. Shockingly, it was found that along that colony too a wall existed blocking the people’s access to the main road.
People of both the colonies have to walk nearly half a kilometre to reach the main road, the temple and the school. To protect the wall, the upper class people also planted coconut saplings along the wall and erected a statue. They defended their action stating that the wall was constructed to prevent others from “spoiling the atmosphere of the area”.
The untouchability activist said that the wall that had been in existence for many years was not acceptable as the dalits felt that it affected their rights. Hence, cases should be booked under SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act against the caste Hindus and the walls should immediately be razed, Annadurai maintained.
If the wall was not removed before the deadline of July 2 set by other dalit outfits, the munnani would also join them to remove it on that day, he warned.