NAGAPATTINAM: There was a directive from the High Court of Madras to the revenue officials to implement it and hundreds of police personnel to offer protection. But in the end, the Dalit family wait to bury their 100-year-old patriarch, who passed away on Sunday, continued for yet another day, as the caste Hindus continued their opposition to Dalits accessing the road to the cremation ground.
On Monday, M Sankar from Vazhuvur in Nagapattinam, had approached the HC stating that the body of his grandfather, A Chelladurai, a Dalit, could not be buried, as caste Hindus from the locality prevented him from using the Kaaliyamman Kovil street. Expressing concern over it, the Justice MM Sundresh has directed the district police and revenue officials to act immediately and report, warning that the court would pass appropriate orders if they failed.
However, on Tuesday, the third day since Chelladurai died, things have not moved forward an inch. The peace talks undertaken by district authorities including Mayiladuturai Revenue Divisional Officer Krishnammal, Kuthalam Tahsildar Rani failed to make any breakthrough and de-escalate the caste tensions in the area.
“We are trying our best to pacify the [caste Hindus] to implement the court’s order. But we were unable to do so till late on Tuesday,” Krishnammal told Express. This despite the presence of over 300 police personnel who have been deployed in the area to ensure that the situation did not get out of hand.
Speaking to Express, advocate S Rajanikanth who argued the case at the HC said they would be forced to file a contempt of court petition against the district authorities - they were asked to file compliance by today. Meanwhile, Nagapattinam collector replied in Madras High Court that Rs 26 lakh has been allotted for relaying an existing road for the benefit of the Dalits.