The Dharmapuri police in Tamil Nadu have arrested 50-year-old Rajasekhar, a caste Hindu who allegedly abused a 14-year-old Dalit boy with casteist slurs before assaulting and forcing him to carry his own excreta to his house. The accused who has been booked under relevant sections of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act has been remanded to the district jail.
On Saturday, Rajasekar, a Brahmin land owner allegedly found the teenager who is from the Adi Dravidar community, defecating on land that he owns. According to the First Information Report (FIR) filed in the case, he assaulted the boy and told him to eat his own faeces.
He then made him carry the excreta back to his house, alleges the teenager's family. The boy then walked home and told his father what had happened.
According to his father who spoke to TNM on Saturday, "We have a toilet constructed by the union government but we do not have water, so we defecate in the open. On that day, my child was defecating on the land owned by Rajasekhar, when he passed by. On seeing the child, he immediately got down from the vehicle and started hitting my son with a cane for defecating in the open.â€ť
â€śRajasekhar told my son to eat the faeces since he had defecated on his land. He also uttered a casteist slur to my boy and told him to pick up the excreta with his hands,â€ť he added.
Those who saw the assault allegedly attempted to stop it but Rajasekhar was not ready to listen, the family alleged.
The father said that he went home immediately on hearing what happened and cleaned his son's hands but the boy was so traumatised by the events that he couldn't eat since the incident took place.
"He (Rajasekhar) was absconding after the family filed a complaint with the Pennagaram police station," an investigating official said, adding, "But we found him and had him remanded by Tuesday night. The Deputy Superintendent of police led the investigation.â€ť