TN Dalit man made to fall at feet of caste Hindus after relatives burst firecrackers on street

Police have arrested one man in connection with the incident while five others, including a DMK functionary, are on the run.

ByVinodh Arulappan

Published Jul 24, 2023 | 7:00 PMUpdatedJul 24, 2023 | 8:30 PM

With no options left, Thirunavukarasu fell at their feet, and apologised. (Wikimedia Commons)

In yet another instance of an atrocity against Dalits in Tamil Nadu, a man belonging to a scheduled caste community was allegedly made to seek forgiveness by falling at the feet of upper-caste people, including a DMK functionary, at Valarakurichi village in the Ariyalur district.

The man’s “mistake”? His relatives burst firecrackers on a street where upper-class families live. Shockingly, the incident took place at the entrance of the Irumpulikurichi police station.

Anbarasan, a Dalit living in Valarakurichi, held the “puberty celebration” of his elder daughter on 8 July. His relatives, who came in a procession, reportedly burst crackers while crossing the upper-caste Hindu street.

Kannan, secretary of the DMK’s panchayat unit, objected to the bursting of firecrackers and summoned the police. Later, Anbarasan’s brother Thirunavukarasu questioned Kannan for disrupting the procession.

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Lowly act

The next day, Thirunavukarasu went to a petty shop located in the caste-Hindu neighbourhood, which angered Kannan and others. It was alleged that Thirunavukarasu was attacked. They then took him to the Irumpulikurichi police station.

According to sources South First contacted, Kannan threatened Thirunavukarasu that a false case would be charged against him and demanded an apology.

The police also allegedly colluded with Kannan and others. With no option left, Thirunavukarasu reportedly fell at their feet at the gates of the police station and apologised.

On being informed of the incident. Anbarasan, an office bearer of the BJP unit in the Ariyalur district, complained to the Superintendent of Police K Feroze Khan Abdullah and also sent representations to the National Commission for Scheduled Castes, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s Grievance Cell, and the President’s Office.

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One held, others on the run

On the SP’s order, the Irumpulikurichi police registered a case against six persons.

Besides Kannan, Rajesh, Ramachandran, Ramesh, Arun, and Veluchamy were charged under seven sections including the SC/ST Atrocities (Prevention) Act. The police later arrested Rajesh and remanded him in judicial custody.

A resident told South First that the village has been caste-sensitive and Kannan, who was the former panchayat president, had been anti-Dalit.

“Kannan and others had censured Thirunavukarasu for riding his motorcycle on the caste Hindus’ street. Our elders tried to settle the matter amicably. But the caste Hindus wanted Thirunavukarasu to fall at their feet and apologise,” he said, requesting anonymity.

The villager said that Thirunvukarasu was willing to apologise. But Kannan and others insisted on him falling at their feet.

When contacted, Irumpulikurichi police said they had not colluded with Kannan and others.

SP Abdullah said that one person has been arrested. The police have formed a team to arrest the remaining people.

He added that the district police had a zero-tolerance policy towards caste-based atrocities.