VILLUPURAM: A day after a 26-year-old Dalit man was killed by a mob allegedly over suspicion that he misbehaved with a woman, relatives of the victim alleged caste motive to the violence. On Wednesday, Sakthivel of Karai village, while returning from work, had stopped at S Pudhur village in Gingee for relieving himself. But a woman who worked in the farmland, suspecting that he was attempting to misbehave with her, raised an alarm. The villagers assaulted him, and Sakthivel later died at his village.
On Friday, his relatives alleged that he was assaulted because he was a Dalit. “My brother was tied up and they checked his Aadhaar card. After coming to know that he comes from the Dalit colony, they tied his mouth and hit him with a banana tree trunk,” alleged Deivanai (27), sister of Sakthivel. “The woman in the video could be seen using casteist slurs against my brother,” she said. However, a relative of one of the accused told Express, “We only thought he had planned to abuse women agricultural labourers. We beat him up but didn’t try to kill him.”
A relative of Sakthivel, told Express, “Why are only Dalit men like my brother tied up and beaten brutally, that too when he didn’t even commit a crime? It is caste-based prejudice. .” VCK chief and MP Thol Thirumavalavan met the victim’s family on Friday evening. He said this is condemnable and a protest against the murder will be held in the coming week. Seven accused, including three women, have been arrested and remanded, confirmed SP S Jayakumar. Police had arrested only two persons on Thursday.
Gingee Tahsildar A Govindharajan told Express, “Compensation amount of `4.12 lakh has already been sanctioned and will reach them by Monday. We will further sensitise villages on these issues.