COIMBATORE: Police have registered two cases against a caste Hindu man for allegedly forcing a Scheduled Caste employee in Otterpalayam VAO office to fall at his feet on Friday.
Based on the VAO's complaint, Annur police booked the suspect K Gopalsamy (38) from Gobirasipuram near Pogalur in Annur, under Section 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) of the IPC.
Another case case was registered against him, based on the complaint from the victim P Muthusamy (56), under Sections 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 506 (i) (criminal intimidation) of IPC and Sections 3(1) (r), 3(1) (s) and 3(2) (Va) of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
Sources said that Muthusamy, working as an assistant, intervened when Gopalsamy was engaged in a heated argument with VAO Kalaiselvi over some paperwork.
In retaliation, Gopalsamy abused Muthusamy and forced him to apologise by falling at his feet. The incident was recorded by an onlooker, on his mobile and leaked on Saturday. As the video went viral, District Collector GS Sameeran ordered a probe, and based on the report, directed police to initiate action against Gopalsamy.
Police also launched an investigation into the persons, who had recorded the incident on their mobile phones, following complaints that the video had been edited and only selective portions released.
District Revenue Officer (DRO) P S Leela Alex said she did not see the full video footage during her investigation. “We were not able to trace the person who recorded the incident. Police will investigate. I completed the inquiry based on the statements of persons who were involved in the incident,” she said.
Sources alleged that only 45 seconds of the recording, showing Muthusamy falling at the feet of Gopalsamy, was released. "We have received information that someone who had recorded the incident tried to extort money from Gopalsamy. We have booked a case against Gopalsamy based on the DRO's inquiry report. Investigation would be carried out with people who were present in the VAO's office, who had recorded the incident,” said a senior police officer.