The village, has a separate pathway leading to the cremation ground used by Dalits and another pathway for all other castes

Dalit school kids frisked in village which did not allow pathway for funeral of old manImage for representation
news Monday, January 18, 2016 - 09:24

A fact-finding report by a Madurai based NGO called Evidence, has revealed the alleged levels of discrimination against Dalits in a Tamil Nadu village.

The NGO has revealed that Dalit children were allegedly frisked by the policemen at the Thirunalkondacheri village in Nagapattinam for 'weapons' and alleged that the administration allocated lands for the extension of the narrow path leading to the Dalit burial ground, which was encroached upon by other castes.

It also demanded registration of cases against the authorities including revenue and police officials for failing to implement the order of the Madras High Court, The New Indian Express reported.

The TNIE report also adds:

The village has 40 Dalit families and about 300 caste Hindu families. If any Dalit dies, the body would normally be cremated in a tiny burial ground on the banks of Mathimalai river. They would have to use only the three-feet wide path to reach the burial ground located 3 km away from their settlement, the report said.

Earlier this month, the village in Kuttalam Taluk near Mayiladuthurai, a 100-year-old Dalit man Chellamuthu's death, sparked off a row.

The village, has a separate pathway leading to the cremation ground used by Dalits and another pathway for all other castes.

As the separate path was not usable after Chellamuthu's death, the Dalit family wanted to use the common pathway.

Sensing that the other people would not allow them to use the common pathway, the grandson of the deceased Dalit, Karthik, moved the High Court and got a favourable order that there is no legal bar to use the common pathway to undertake the funeral procession. 

Moreover it was stated in the order that the Nagapattinam district administration and police should take measures to ensure that the common path is accessible.

However, government officials instead of upholding the HC verdict, created a new pathway to carry the body. Dalits resisted this move and refused to take the body in the new pathway. The police did not pay heed so the Dalits attempted to self immolate themselves in protest.

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