This comes after the 14-year-old boy and his parents filed an official complaint seeking action against Minister Dindigul C Srinivasan.

TN minister meets tribal boy who was made to remove his footwear expresses regretFile Image
news Controversy Friday, February 07, 2020 - 16:27

Tamil Nadu Forest Minister Dindigul C Srinivasan expressed regret to the 14-year-old tribal boy, whom he had forced to remove his footwear. The minister’s action comes barely a day after the boy and his parents filed a police complaint, seeking action against the minister under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

The minister, on Friday, called the boy and family to his guest house in Ooty and expressed regret for Thursday’s incident. The minister was scheduled to leave to Coimbatore on Friday morning. However, as per reports, the minister changed his schedule to meet the boy and his parents in Nilgiris in Ooty. Following this, the parents withdrew their complaint, the Masinagudi police confirmed to TNM.

The minister and officers from the district administration were in Nilgiris district on Thursday to inaugurate an elephant rejuvenation camp, when he called the boy to remove the buckles of his slippers. This act by the minister, which was caught on camera, sparked massive outrage. He was also criticised heavily by anti-caste activists, politicians and by people at large on social media.

Following the outrage, instead of apologising, the minister stated that there was no ill intention behind his act and that he did so only considering the boy as his "own grandson". “I had no other motive. If someone is hurt, I express regrets,” he said.

However, the boy’s parents filed a complaint with the Masinagudi police station late on Thursday, seeking action against the minister under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. In his complaint, the boy had stated that he was upset and humiliated by the events that happened on Thursday and that he had to comply by the minister’s orders out of fear of the policemen and senior officers surrounding him. He had also added that he was upset and crying at home at the thought of being made fun of by his friends after the incident. 

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