Residents of Vaiyur village, led by Aadhi Tamizhar Peravai, on Saturday gheraoed the T Kallupatti police station, protesting the alleged harrassment and assault of a dalit worker by an inspector on Friday.
Sources said that Palpandi, son of Alagiri from Vaiyur, is a sanitary worker. On Friday, both his daughters had gone to the Vaiyur Panchayat Union primary school, but the younger one, Mahalakshmi did not return home. Later, Palpandi came to know that she had not attended school that day.
Palpandi searched for the girl till evening but she was not found. So, he, along with the headmaster of the school and panchayat union office-bearers went to T Kallupatti police station to lodge a missing complaint.
While they were there, locals spotted the girl sleeping behind Palpandi’s house. When the news reached the police station, inspector Paathamuthu allegedly accused Palpandi of trying to lodge a false complaint.
“Mahalakshimi did not go to school. Fearing reprimand by her parents, she hid at a place behind the house, which was covered with bushes,” said a panchayat union office-bearer.
“He (the inspector) asked me, which caste did I belong to? When I told him that I belonged to a scheduled caste, he started abusing me, using my caste name. The officer even slapped me on the face and kicked my back,” claimed Palpandi, who sustained internal injuries.
Trouble did not end for Palpandi as a high-ranking police officer threatened him not to make a furore over the issue at the Tirumangalam government hospital, where the former was taken for treatment.
“It is a shame that a police officer, who is supposed to protect the common man, behaved in this manner. That too inside the police station,” said R Selvan, Suburban District Secretary, ATP, who demanded that a case under the SC/ST (POA) Act be registered against the inspector. Reacting to the issue, DSP (Peraiyur range) Balasubramanian said, as a police officer, Paathamuthu was aware of the laws. So, chances of him abusing or assaulting Palpandi were less. Nevertheless, the DSP has assured of further investigation into the matter.