Tuesday, April 30, 2002

Melayur Dalits complain of attacks

By Chennaionline News Service

Madurai, April 29: A tense situation prevailed at Melayur village in Sivaganga district of Tamil Nadu today with the police allegedly remaining indifferent to the attacks on Dalits in which five members of the Thiagi Imanuel Peravai were injured and several houses damaged since March 27.

According to P Chandra Bose, general secretary of the Peravai, the trouble began when local Dalit youth objected to the two-tumbler system: one set of tumblers for caste Hindus and one for Dalits, in all the local hotels and gave a complaint to the police who immediately raided the shops and seized the tumblers.

However, after the tumblers were seized, the majority caste Hindus began a �social boycott� of all the 19 Dalit families in the village and refused to give milk and groceries to them, he told reporters here today.

Bose said the police did not care to end the social boycott and postponed the talks convened to ease the tension for three days after making the Dalits and caste Hindus wait for a long time.

A section of the caste Hindus who got irritated did not allow the Dalits to celebrate the Ambedkar birth anniversary. They attacked with deadly weapons those who arranged for the celebration injuring five persons.

Though the police registered cases against 43 persons, they did not arrest anyone, leading to a second attack in which Dalit colonies were looted, Bose said.

Source: Chennaionline News Service, April 30, 2002

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