One killed as Upper Caste men attack Dalits in Tamil Nadu
31 Aug 2005
The Dalits of Mudur village in Arakkonam taluk, Vellore, Tamil Nadu are still in a state of shock over the loss of Asirvadam (21). Asirvadam, who had a cervical fracture, a swollen face and bruises all over, was in coma in the Government General Hospital in Chennai for over 10 days. According to the post-mortem report, the death resulted from the assault.
"It is unfortunate that my boy, who would keep himself away from all trouble, was beaten up for no fault of his," Asirvadam's father G Pakianathan said. Pakianathan, a head constable with the Central Reserve Police Force, was away serving on the borders of Kashmir when the incident occurred. When he managed to get back to Chennai on learning about the attack, his son was already beyond help. "His neck was broken, eye injured badly and one ear torn," Pakianathan said, describing the body of his son.
Two other Dalits Perumal and Elango from the same village, who were also beaten up and admitted to the Government General Hospital, have recovered. Recounting the incidents on the night of 25 July 2005, they said the caste Hindus of the village lay in wait for them and beat them up. A series of small skirmishes between the two groups had led to the incident, they explained.
About 14 of the attackers had been identified and named in the FIR. While cases were booked against the offenders under the IPC, it was only after the intervention of the Tamil Nadu Dalit Women's Movement, cases were booked under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act and eight of them arrested.
Fearing further attacks, the Dalits of the village demanded that they be constituted into a special panchayat unit. They threatened to launch an agitation to demand the arrest and prosecution of the other accused in the case.