Citizens for Justice and Peace

The silenced letter: 60-year-old Dalit rape victim fights to restore her SC name

11, Oct 2015

In Tirunelveli, the Tamil Nadu district infamous for its cases of atrocities against lower castes, a 60-year-old rape victim fights, starting with the bid to restore her SC name
Written by Arun Janardhanan
Updated: Oct 11, 2015, 7:44
In Tirunelveli’s caste maze, all it took was an ‘a’ to change the course of this 60-year-old’s case. With the dropping of that letter from her name, the Dalit rape victim was passed off as a Christian, and the assault on her managed to escape the stringent SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act.
Eighteen months later, she is still waiting for even a chargesheet to be filed against her alleged assailant, 27-year-old Chinna Durai, who belongs to an upper caste. While her medical examination confirmed rape and revealed serious injuries, she has not received any compensation.
She doesn’t remember the exact date of the rape, only that “it was the day after I had voted in the elections that brought (Narendra) Modi to power (April 25, 2014)”. The 27-year-old, an alleged local sand mafia leader, reportedly entered her house in the Dalit hamlet of Alangulam, about 20 km from Tirunelveli town, dragged her out, and raped and beat her up.


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