TIRUCHY: A group of Narikuravars have alleged that officials of HR and CE Department covered up discrimination at an 'annadhana mandapam' of Uthamar Kovil temple on Thursday.
A video clip allegedly recorded by children of Narikuravar community has been doing the rounds on social media since April 22. In the video, a child is seen explaining how they were being discriminated at the mandapam. While everyone is eating inside, the children of Narikuravars are not allowed inside. The video also showed Narikuravar children having merely cooked white rice.
CPM union secretary A Kanagaraj, who received the video first, forwarded it among people and it was shared widely on Twitter. It caught the attention of the HR and CE Minister P K Sekar Babu. Following an inquiry on Saturday, he tweeted saying there was no discrimination there.
However, sources said officials of the department did not conduct the inquiry properly.
CPM union secretary A Kanagaraj said, "When higher officials came for the inquiry, the Narikuravar community people at Narikuravar Thoppu near Pichandarkovil were taken by local officials to dine along with them at the mandapam. They took pictures of the scene and closed the matter saying there was no
Sources said Kanagaraj, after seeing the video on Thursday, took some of the Narikuravars to the mandapam on Friday, and they were served food properly.
Speaking to TNIE, a Narikuravar, who faced discrimination, said, "When I went to have food, a worker at the mandapam drove me away with a stick in hand. I didn't go there again. But, some children who were grazing goats, went there as they were hungry. They were served food outside the mandapam, but were not
given water to drink. One of the children recorded it on mobile phone."
However, officials who came for inquiry neither spoke to Kanagaraj nor the affected people, sources said. HR and CE Joint Commissioner Selvaraj, who conducted the inquiry, was unavailable