Neither her father’s christening of her as Sonia Gandhi nor her MBA degree could save the 23-year-old girl, recuperating after a surgery, from being beaten up brutally by a caste Hindu panchayat chief, who curtly reminded her that she was after all a Dalit. He also threatened to kill her.
Sonia Gandhi of Karukakurichi Therkutheru village near Alangudi in Pudukottai district was unable to get up from the cot, on which she was lying outside her house after undergoing appendicitis surgery, when panchayat chief Palanivelu rode by on his bike on Sunday. She paid the price for her inability to ‘show due respect’ to the higher caste man by landing in the Pudukottai General Hospital with grievous injuries as Palanivelu first kicked at her cot and then slapped her with chappals.
Neighbours rushed to her rescue, trying to explain to the village headman her medical condition. But Palanivelu, who abused the girl using her caste name, would have none of it. She should have at least sat up and greeted him, he said.
Sonia Gandhi, named after the Congress chief as her father was a party sympathiser, has just completed her MBA from a college near Chennai and returned home when she developed appendicitis and underwent surgery at the Alangudi government hospital.
When the girl lodged a complaint with the Vadakadu police station, the police refused to file an FIR, which prompted her father Sappani, an agricultural labourer, to approach the Alangudi DSP and Pudukottai SP on Monday for action against the panchayat chief. Yet, no case has been registered.