Self-immolation bid by Dalit for job quota
The women wing secretary of Aathi Thamizhar Peravai (ATP) tried to immolate self demanding six per cent reservation for Arunthathiyars within the Scheduled Caste (SC) reservation quota, here on Tuesday. She sustained 90 per cent burns and was in a critical condition.
According to sources, Rani alias A Palaniammal (40) attempted self immolation in front of the Ambedkar statue near the Central bus stand here. However, police and passersby rescued her and rushed her to the government hospital.
Sources said, Palaniammal reached the Aristo roundabout at 9.20 am on her two wheeler. After paying respects to the Dalit icon’s statue, she of a sudden doused herself with petrol and set herself ablaze. A few passersby, who noticed the incident, tried to douse the fire. On information, Cantonment police rushed to the spot and joined the rescue efforts of the locals and managed to put out the fire. Palaniammal was immediately rushed to the GH, where the doctors said that she had sustained over 90 per cent burns and her condition was critical.
Eyewitnesses said that Palaniammal kept shouting slogans demanding six per cent reservation for the Arunthathiyars, even while she was on fire.
Police said that they recovered a letter from the spot. In the letter, Palaniammal said that Arunthathiyars had been living a life of slavery and suffering a lot. They were not getting employment opportunities and were living in abject poverty, the letter said. Further, she demanded that the State initiate steps to provide reservation for the people belonging to the community. Palaniammal’s statement was recorded by the Magistrate at the hospital.
Fearing that the incident could trigger violence, police deployed heavy security at the Aristo roundabout area.