Dalit siblings attacked by dominant caste students in Tirunelveli; kin dies during protests

The boy, a Class 12 student of a government-aided school in Valliyoor, was constantly harassed by three students of an intermediate caste.
Image used for representational purpose only. (Photo | PTI)
Image used for representational purpose only. (Photo | PTI)

TIRUNELVELI: A Class 12 Scheduled Caste student and his younger sister were attacked with sickles inside their home at Nanguneri in Tirunelveli district on Wednesday night by three of his schoolmates hours after complaining to the headmaster against them. A 60-year-old relative of the victims, who was among those holding a protest demanding police action against the suspects who belong to a dominant community, fainted and died. The siblings were admitted to Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital for treatment for cut injuries.

According to sources, the victims are students of a government-aided school in Valliyoor. Their parents are daily-wage labourers. "The boy was being harassed at his school by some Class 11 and Class 12 students who were allegedly forcing him to run errands for them. 

“They even asked the boy to purchase cigarettes for them. Unable to bear their torture, the Dalit victim shared the harassment with his parents and stopped going to school. Recently, the school administration summoned him and his parents. The boy explained to the school headmaster the mental agony he was suffering at the hands of the harassers. The school administration warned the juveniles and advised the boy to return to class. After the class hours on Wednesday, the harassers confronted the boy in the school and warned him of dire consequences for complaining to the headmaster,” sources said.  

According to sources, around 10.30 pm, the three dominant caste students barged into the victim’s home and started attacking him with sickles. The boy’s sister, who attempted to protect his brother, also suffered injuries. When some neighbours rushed to their house on hearing their cry for help, the attackers fled the spot. The siblings were rushed to Nanguneri government hospital with bleeding injuries and later to the Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital. Flaying delay by the Nanguneri police in reaching the crime spot, the victims’ relatives staged a road blockade. When police were holding talks with the family members, their 60-year-old relative fainted and collapsed on the road. The doctors in Nanguneri GH declared him dead.

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The New Indian Express