Tamil Nadu witnesses a tide of violence against Dalits Bureaucratic delays preventing proper burials, facing increased hate for having a tattoo of B R Ambedkar, violence against Dalits persists

24, Nov 2023 | CJP Team

Dalits in Tamil Nadu continue to face violence which reflects that the social reality continues to be embedded with social inequalities. From not having roads, and being denied right to bury in dignity, to being attacked for having B R Ambedkar’s tattoo, reality looks grim.

Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu

In Tamil Nadu’s village of Melvadakuthu, Dalit villagers face, amongst several other things, a barrier in burying their dead. Even in the final rites of Dalits, they are denied their rights. According to The NewsMinute, this happens because there is no proper road to reach the burial ground. The land in between is reportedly owned by the dominant caste, Vanniyar community.  Dalits in the village are forced to carry their dead on their shoulders through these muddy fields owned by the Vanniyar to reach the burial place. The Vanniyar community is however open to giving their land to form a road, but this has not been possible due to paperwork issues and bureaucratic delays. The Dalit community has earlier urged the government to take swift action to initiate dignified funeral processions.

Tiruppur, Tamil Nadu

In the state’s Tiruppur district, according to news reports, a 29-year-old man named C Prathap was brutally assaulted by a group of dominant caste men. The incident occurred when Prathap was watching a cricket match on his phone with his friend Rajesh at a local shop, according to the New Indian Express.

The assailant is reportedly one E. Navin Kumar belongs to an upper-caste community. Kumar approached the two who were watching the cricket match and enquired about Prathap’s caste, following this he proceeded to make some casteist remarks when the situation worsened and Navin took away Prathap’s bike keys and demanded an apology.

Navin Kumar’s friend later issued a death threat to Prathap over the phone. Disturbed by the casteist slurs and threats, Prathap filed a complaint with the police on November 8. However, it was not over because on the same night, Navin Kumar and his friends allegedly rammed their car into Prathap’s bike and further assaulted Prathap. According to reports, they dragged him and tied him to a tree and beat him more with iron rods. Prathap was saved only after being alerted by a local, the police came and rescued him. Kumar is now arrested, along two others, under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Vellore, Tamil Nadu

A Dalit man, Diwakar was verbally abused by two men while briefly halting his bike near Sathumadurai railway gate on November 14.

According to reports, Diwakar, one of the victims, reportedly accelerated his motorcycle while stopping near a railway gate. This offended some men standing near him, who resorted to verbally abuse him. Two other men joined the men arguing with Diwakar and started physically assaulting him. Diwakar’s friend, Sarvanan, was also attacked when he tried to rescue him. The assault got even worse when Sarvanan’s shirt got torn and the attackers saw that he had a tattoo of B R Ambedkar on his chest. The two victims have sustained injuries, including head injuries, from the attack. The five suspects have been arrested thus far for allegedly assaulting the two men.

Image Courtesy: Joy Andrew


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