Dharmapuri atrocity - preliminary report

Preliminary Report

by 

Evidence,

God's Mercy Illam, 9B, P.T. Rajan Road, (Near Singarayar Colony), Madurai – 625 002. Tamil Nadu.
On 14.11.2012

~

Initiate action who indulged in torching Dalit homes
Incidents of attack on Dalit residential areas rising in Tamil Nadu
4 villages, 60 Dalit homes were torched and 120 houses got damaged

~

Natham colony is within the police station limit of Nayakkankottai village, Vellallapattim Panchayat, Dharmapuri district. On 7.11.2012 around 4 p.m nearly 1000 armed caste hindus went on a rampage with deadly weapons like knives, wooden logs, petrol bombs, sickles and forcibly entered the Dalit residences of Natham colony, Nayakkankottai village and attacked them brutally. Around 30 houses were torched, 120 houses were attacked and damaged. Dalit's properties and valuables like TV, Two wheelers, cycles,cars, shops, steel cupboards, cot and other belongings were looted. Likewise in Annanagar, Kondapatti, New colony, Sengal medu Maravadi villages around 30 houses were burnt and got damaged.

Following this incident the Evidence Fact finding team did an on the spot study and collected the true facts. Based on these collected facts this press report was prepared.

On 14.10.2012 dalit youth Mr. Elavarasan (23) s/o Elangovan (48) hailing from Natham colony from Nayakkankottai married a caste hindu girl Divya (21) d/o Nagaraj after being in love for two years. Nagaraj, his family members and relatives were very much opposed to this marriage. In the month of January 2012 when the girl's parents came to know about the love affair with a dalit boy Elavarasan they went and attacked the family violently and warned the boy and his family members to discontinue the relationship. In spite of such opposition the boy and girl were firm and got married secretly.

Sensing trouble the married couple went and gave a petition to Salem DIG Sanjay Kumar and Dharmapuri Superintendent of police Mr. Asrag Garg seeking protection for their life. The police also gave proper protection.

Meantime on 4.11.2012 under the head of Dharmapuri PMK party youth president Mr. Mathialagan around 1000 caste hindus gathered at Nayyakkankottai from the Vellalapatti, Nayakkankottai, Puliampatti, Konayyanpatti, Savulupatti, Mathankottai, Seerampatti , S.Kottaru, Kathirnayakkanalli, Palayavoor, Milaganur, Chellamkottai which includes 12 villages. From the Dalit community under the head of Mr.Sakthi (35) s/o Settu around 25 people reported in the same place. During that time the caste hindus looked at the Dalits and said that your boy Elavarasan had married our caste girl Divya and it is not a proper manner. The caste hindus said that we will pardon him for marrying our girl but you have to hand over the girl. But before 7.11.2012 you have to hand over the girl. Then the Dalit people have told the caste hindus that we will discuss with our people and  inform you later and left the place.

In this situation on 7.11.2012 around 2 pm Divya's father Nagaraj committed suicide. As a result under the head of PMK party member Mathialagan and Vellalapatti Panchayat president Mr. Raja around 1000 the caste hindus party cadres staged road roko on the Dhramapuri -Thirupathur road to vent out their anger. Later this violent group around 4 pm with a deadly weapons like sickles, knives, wooden logs, petrol bombs, crowbars and other deadly weapons entered the Natham colony, Nayyakankottai village forcibly and attacked the dalits brutally. The violent group threatened them to kill and abused them with caste namea. Dalits fled from the village fearing threat to their lives. The violent caste group set on fire 30 houses and damaged 150 houses of Dalits and looted their properties and belongings like two- wheelers, cycles, cars, steel cupboards, TVs, cots and other valuable articles. This incident has taken place around 8.30 p.m. Not only this, the caste hindu armed group went to Kondapatti, Annanagar, New colony of Dalit residential areas and started torching and damaged around 30 houses rigorously.

In this atrocity related violence the Krishnapuram police station has registered 4 cases. The crime no 295/2012 (petitioner Mr.Selvaraj (42) s/o Periyasamy) under Sections 147, 148, 435, 536, 427, 307 IPC, SC/ST ACT 1989 under sec 3(1)(10), 3(2)(3), 3(2)(4) and 3(1) TN PPDL Act cases have been filed against 500 people, and under the crime No 296/2012 (petitioner Mr.Sakthi (36) s/o Settu) cases have been filed against 87 persons and under the crime number No297/2012(petitioner Mr.Thangavel (40) s/o Kuppan) cases have been booked on 84 persons and under crime No 298/2012 (petitioner Mr.Tharpar (55) s/o Malayan) cases filed against 21 person and on others. The 90 persons who indulged in the violence were arrested. 

The affected people have incurred a loss of 2 crores in this violence. (Enclosed: list of few damages). 

In Tamil Nadu, Dalits and their residential areas have been targeted and attacked for many years.

Following are the list of incidents where Dalit residents had been attacked in Tamil Nadu (1995 to 2012):

1.

31.8.1995
Kodiyakulam village, Tuticorin district more than 300 houses and the valuables of Dalits were attacked and looted by the police. Dalits were attacked, torture, and the other valuable goods like TV, cycle, vessels, two- wheelers were got damaged.

2.
7.3.1996
150 dalit houses were set on fire in Mangalpuram, Virdhunagar district.

3.
26.2.1998
Brutal Police excess on Dalit residential areas in Gundupatti, Kodaikanal. Around 130 police entered the residential area and damaged the valuables. 25 Dalits including 16 women were arrested and underwent severe police torture. The houses were severely pulled down. Kerosene and food material was ransacked and burnt down. TV, Kerosene, cot, vessels, two wheeler were smashed.

4.
1.12.1998
Around 300 police men indulged in brutal attack in Oovalur village, Perambalur district. As a result 80 dalit houses were damaged. Following this 20 Dalits were arrested by police and meted out torture against them.

5.
16.12.1998
500 dalit homes were set on fire in Pulliyur village at Cuddalore district. TVs, vessels, cots, Two wheeler was smashed. Many suffered cut injuries.

6.
16.11.2001
167 Dalits homes were attacked in Sangralingapuram at Tuticorin district. 65 dalit women including 26 young women and 45 men were tortured in police station. Around 400 sheep were missing. TVs, vessels, cots, Two wheelers were smashed.

7.
17.5.2004
120 houses were damaged in Kalapatti village in Coimbatore by caste hindus. Houses were set on fire household things were smashed and looted, and women were sexually assaulted.

8.
17.10.2005
In Mela urappanur Village at Madurai district 100 armed violent caste groups damaged 40 dalit houses. TVs, vessels, cots and two-wheelers were smashed.

9.
16.5.2005
Brutal attack on Dalit residential areas by 100 violent caste hindus in Kadupatti village in Madurai district. More than 40 houses were damaged. 80 Dalits suffered severe injuries. TV, vessels, cots, Two-wheelers were smashed.

10.
8.11.2007
In Aavrampatti village, Nilakottai taluk at Dindugal district 24 dalit houses were damaged by 80 violent caste hindu groups. TVs, vessels, cots, Two- wheelers were smashed.

11.
17.1.2008
In Natham village near Kallakurichi, Villupuram district around 100 violent caste hindus had attacked 34 dalit houses. TVs, vessels, cots, Two wheelers were smashed.

12
18.2.2008
In Sanarpatti village, Udumalaipettai at Coimbatore district around 50 armed caste group attacked brutally the Dalit residential areas. As a result 10 houses got damaged. More than 15 dalits suffered injuries. TV, vessels, cot, Two wheeler were smashed.

13.
6.3.2008
In the Aannaikuttam village in Sivakasi taluk at Virdhunagar district the caste hindus attacked brutally over Dalits. around 16 Dalit houses got damaged. TV, vessels, cot, Two wheeler were smashed

14.
30.7.2008
In the Idayapatti village near Kulithalai, Karur district 43 dalit houses were damaged by armed caste hindus. TV, vessels, cot, Two wheeler were smashed.

15.
29.1.2010
In the Vembathur village at Sivagangai district 60 violent caste hindu group attacked 32 houses of Dalits. TVs, vessels, cots, Two wheelers were smashed.

16.
29.6.2011
In Thulainatham near Trichy 120 caste hindus attacked 42 houses of Dalits. TVs, vessels, cots, Two wheeler were smashed.

17.
13.2.2011
In Paraliputhur village at Dindugal district around 120 caste hindus set on fire the 70 houses of Dalits. TVs, vessels, cots, Two wheelers were smashed.

18.
27.3.2011
In Tiruchuli village at Virdhunagar district caste hindus indulge in brutal attack. As a result 34 Dalit houses were damaged. Houses were set on fire. TVs, vessels, cots, two wheeler were smashed.

~

Minor clashes, Dalit murders, brutal torture against dalits incidents were reported;  only few incidents of attack on houses of Dalits are listed here.

When Dalit houses are set on fire the cases should be registered under SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act 1989 under sec 3(2)(3),3(2)(4). Till now no cases have been registered under these sections in Tamil Nadu. At the same time we should praise Dharmapuri district superintendent of police Mr. Asrag Garg for filing the above mentioned sections in the Natham colony, Nayakkankottai violence.

The untouchablity's peak is castesim. Honor killings takes place while the caste hindu woman marries a dalit boy considering it brings dishonor to the caste. (Enclosed: list of honour killings). Underneath of the honour killing the untouchablity, caste panchayat, political parties nurturing caste and campaign against inter caste marriages were responsible for such acts.

If a Dalit acts against a caste hindu's restriction to enter a temple or drink tea on par with a caste hindu /two tumbler systems the rating of the anger is in a limited boundary. At the same time when a Dalit marries a caste hindu girl the anger goes beyond unlimited levels and explodes. This atrocity group allows the caste hindu boys to marry the Dalit girls. But when a caste hindu girls marries a Dalit boy this group express their strong protest. Hence it is unfortunate to note that the caste honor means it directly defend the patriarchy society, such caste honor always based on men, at the same time the religion honor move about under this caste.

Last May (2012), the Vanniyar sangam president Mr. Kadduvetti Guru had openly given statement in the Vanniyar Youth conference and said "if our community people propose inter-caste marriage for your daughters I will finish you ". (Evidence,  13.5.2012, Junior Vikatan).

Such a speech against social justice will eradicate equality struggles. If proper action was taken against such anti-social elements we would have prevented such caste panchayats and violence in Natham colony at Dharmapuri district.

Recently Mr. Kaduvetti Guru has given an interview in the media and public meetings abusing women that the Dalit youth have well planned to get marry their caste women and desert them easily. 

During the search operation of sandalwood smuggler Veerappan the Karnataka and Tamil Nadu police indulged in aggressive sexual violence where the most affected were Vanniyar women. Mr. Kaduvetti should raise his voice towards such injustice.

Many innocent Dalit and Tribal women were victimized due to sexual violence by Mr. Kaduvatti's community men. In our organization we have 48 such cases (Enclosed: the list of affected victims in the annexure two). But we cannot generalize that all men in his community are bad. We need a clear perspective to look into the issue.

Divya's father Mr. Nagaraj death is an unfortunate one. Due to this certainly Divya's family would have underwent a lot of stress. We can realize their pain. But how can the Dalits be responsible for the death of Mr. Nagaraj? When a youth died under police custody people will protest or if somebody died during a caste clash the affected people will protest. But in Nagaraj suicide case the caste hindu protesters using it to divert their anger towards Dalits cannot be accepted.

Setting fire and smashing of property and valuables of Dalits will lead to destructive actions. The government should order to take stringent action against such powerful anti elements.

Not only this affected Dalits should not only give appropriate relief but they should be rehabilitated and compensation should be given. Till now those affected dalits who lost their houses due to enmity of castesim were not properly compensated.

The Tamil Nadu government has announced a compensation of Rs.50,000 to each family. This amount has been announced which was not based on the newly amended atrocity rules 2011 the SC/ST act prevention of atrocity Act 1989. On 23.12.2011 there were of lot of amendments made in the SC/ST Act 1989. In that new amendment it has been stressed that at least, 1,20,000 and brick, stone masonry house to be constructed or provided at the Government cost where it has been burnt or destroyed.

Based on this I have given few recommendations which are as follows:

* The government should take action to seize and fine the criminal's who indulged in destroying and burnt the houses of Dalits. Though the SC/ST Act mentions that criminals should be awarded life sentence the enquiry should be undertaken in a proper manner. Hence the Tamil Nadu DGP should pass a special order that SP Mr.Asra garg should continue to be the enquiring officer.

* The state should be involved in assisting the affected individuals, and they should be given at least two lakhs as compensation for reconstruction of damaged houses.

* All the accused should be arrested.

* Each family should be paid a monthly relief money of Rs.5000 at least for 12 months.

A. Kathir, Executive Director, Evidence.

 

~~~

[Courtesy: IDSN, November 2012]