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Caste Cruelty against Dalits on Rise in South TN

Published: 08th March 2015 06:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th March 2015 06:03 AM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI: Violence against Dalits have increased in the last few years in Thoothukudi and Tirunelveli districts with the dominant caste Hindus even going to the extent of carrying out well-planned murders to eliminate Dalits, said K Krishnasamy, president of Puthiya Tamilagam party.

Speaking to reporters in a press meet here on Saturday, Krishnasamy said that last year alone around 90 Dalits were murdered in inter-caste conflicts in these two southern districts. “Caste related violence existed in these districts earlier also. But now it has gone to the extent where dominant caste members hire henchmen to eliminate Dalits who dare raise their voice against the oppression. In these 90 murders, people were specifically targeted and executed by professional assailants, as is evident from the injuries the victims suffered,” he said.

L Ramakrishnan, whose younger brother L Baskaran was murdered at Pichanar Thoppu village near Srivaikundam in Thoothukudi district, said his brother was killed for daring to question the caste Hindus for intentionally letting cattle graze in the lands of Dalits. “There are about 80 families of our community living in the village which is otherwise dominated by a caste Hindu community. They repeatedly abuse and ill-treat our community people and our children can’t study in the local school or college. They try various forms of oppression and one of them is to intentionally destroy our crops. When my brother questioned them, they executed him in a well-planned murder when he was driving alone on February 22 night,” he said.

He added that the caste Hindus, have also disconnected cable TV connection to Dalit houses. “They say we have apologise and only then will the cable connection be restored. What wrong did we do?”, he said.

Lakshmanan, whose son Dharmaraj was murdered in Gopalasamudram village in Tirunelveli district in November 2013, said Dharmaraj was killed on Deepavali day by henchmen engaged by the dominant community in their village. “Just a week prior to that, he supported a girl from our community with whom men from other community were trying to misbehave. He also lodged a police complaint against them,” Lakshmanan told reporters.

Rajeswari, whose school-going son Mariselvan was found murdered on February 5 in Vellagal village in Tirunelveli district, too believes that it was the caste Hindus who killed her son and his friend Murugan.

Krishnasamy charged that the police were lethargic in taking action against those responsible for these gruesome murders, which is only emboldening the dominant community members. “Soon after each murder, a few persons surrender with the police. But even the police know these are not the real culprits,” Krishnasamy said.



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