The Thoothukudi police have arrested seven persons belonging to the Thevar community for making a Dalit shepherd fall at the feet of one of them and apologise. Though the said incident happened on October 8, the incident came out in the open only after a video of it went viral on social media, as per a report.
Thol Thirumavalavan, a Member of Parliament and the Chief of Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), had shared a 10-second video on social media to highlight that caste-based atrocities are not specific to north India but happen in Tamil Nadu also. After the video went viral, the victim was identified as 60-year-old Paulraj, from a village in Kayathar taluk in Thoothukudi district. He has around 100 goats and sheep and herds them for a living.
On the day of the incident, one of his goats allegedly ran into the herd of Sivasangu Thevar, one of the accused in the case, which angered Sivasangu Thevar. He called Paulraj names and insulted him using caste names, to which Paulraj allegedly retorted. An angry Sivasangu Thevar went into the village and brought his relatives Periyamari, Mahendran, Maharajan, Sangili Pandi, Udayammal and Veeraiya. Paulraj said that the group insulted him based on his caste and made him fall at Sivasangu Thevarâ€™s feet and apologise and took a video of it.
An FIR was registered against seven persons under sections 147 (punishment for rioting), 294b (sings, recites or utters any obscene song, ballad or words, in or near any public place), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 506 (ii) (criminal intimidation) of the IPC read with sections 3(1)(r) (intentionally insults or intimidates with intent to humiliate a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe in any place within public view), 3(1)(s) (abuses any member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe by caste name in any place within public view) and 3(2)(v) ( commits any offence under the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) punishable with imprisonment for a term of ten years or more and section 66 (any person who sends by any means of a computer resource any information that is grossly offensive or has a menacing character; or any information which he knows to be false, but for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult) of Information Technology Act. All seven persons have been arrested as of Tuesday morning, according to Jayakumar, the Superintendent of Police, Thoothukudi. The Deputy Superintendent of Police, Kovilpatti has been ordered to head the probe and submit a report in seven days.