Hate watch: Human faeces found in water tank meant for Dalits The incident reported in Tamil Nadu lays bare the true state of untouchability

30, Dec 2022 | Sanchita Kadam

This incident from Tamil Nadu could top the list of abhorrent and inhuman crimes against Dalits, this country has ever seen. A few days ago, an incident was reported from Pudukottai’s Vellanur, Tamil Nadu that human excreta was found dumped in a water tank meant for the Dalit community in the village. This got discovered when a child fell ill and the doctor suggested that the drinking water must be the cause. That is when the villagers checked the water tank and found the faeces in the 10,000-litre water tank.

“A huge quantity of faeces was found dumped inside the water tank. So much so the water had turned yellow. Without knowing that, for a week or so, the people were drinking this water. When children fell ill — that’s when the truth came out,” Moksha Gunavalagan, a political activist in the area told NDTV.

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A special medical camp has been set up in the village to treat anyone who may fall sick.

A case has been filed under Section 277 (fouling water of public spring or reservoir) and 328 (causing means of any poison, etc with intent to commit offence) of the IPC and relevant sections of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. However, no person has been identified as accused yet since the villagers have not named anyone of any community and have asked the police to find out who the perpetrator is.

What brought to light after this incident was the generations of discrimination and injustice faced by the Dalits in the village. When the District Collector Kavitha Ramu and district police chief Vandita Pandey visited the village, the Dalit residents told them that for 3 generations they had never been allowed into the village temple. Even the tea shop in the village has a separate set of glasses for them. Accordingly, a case was also filed against the tea shop owner.

Ramu and Pandey even visited the temple and asked the Dalits to identify who was stopping them from entering the temple. Meanwhile a woman from the ‘upper castes’ declared that she was in a trance, possessed by the deity who did not want the ‘lower castes’ to enter the temple. The woman was also booked.

A young man, Sindhuja, told NDTV that for 3 generations they were not allowed to enter the temple. “We are not less in any way and want to be treated as such,” he said.

This is a specific offence under the SC/ST Act under section 3(1)(b) and (c):

‘(1) Whoever, not being a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe,–

(b) dumps excreta, sewage, carcasses or any other obnoxious substance in premises, or at the entrance of the premises, occupied by a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe;

(c) with intent to cause injury, insult or annoyance to any member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe, dumps excreta, waste matter, carcasses or any other obnoxious substance in his neighbourhood;

As well as under section 3(1)(x):

(x) corrupts or fouls the water of any spring, reservoir or any other source ordinarily used by members of the Scheduled Castes or the Scheduled Tribes so as to render it less fit for the purpose for which it is ordinarily used;

Image Courtesy: msn.com


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