Stop manual scavenging at railway stations, demands TPDK
As many as 101 activists of Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam were arrested following an attempt to march towards the railway station here demanding that the central government and railways enforce a total ban on manual scavenging.
The activists, who began march from Anna statue, were stopped by the police. The police then arrested them and released them later.
TPDK leader, M Ilango, said that manual scavenging is still practised in Indian Railways despite a ban on it since the introduction of the Act in 1993. Pointing out that one can still see manual scavenging going on in railways lines in full public view, Ilango said the scavenging has been going on illegally unabated.
The railways has introduced many new technical innovations, but they are yet to do away with manual scavenging, he said and added that mostly Dalit people are involved in scavenging.
He said the Dalit people employed in such jobs are trying to liberate themselves from such inhuman practices while institutions like railways are trying to oppress them by continuing the practice of manual scavenging. Hence, Railways should take steps to abolish it.
Meanwhile, activists of the Dravidar Viduthlai Kazhgam burnt a copy of “Manushastra” alleging that the ancient texts would encourage untouchability.
The activists, led by Logu Aiyappan, charged that the contents of the book would cause further divide in society. However, no arrests were made following the protest.