The secretary, along with other caste Hindus, stopped the panchayat leader belonging to the SC community from hoisting the national flag on Independence Day.

Dalit panchayat leader Amrutham who was stopped from hoisting a flag in Thiruvallur
news Caste discrimination Thursday, August 20, 2020 - 07:54

In the wake of the caste discrimination faced by a woman panchayat leader belonging to Scheduled Caste community in Tamil Nadu’s Tiruvallur, district collector Mageswari said that panchayat secretary Sasikumar has been suspended on Wednesday. The general secretary, along with the husband of the vice president of the panchayat, had stopped Amrutham from hoisting a national flag in the district on Independence Day.

On August 15, panchayat leader of Attupakam, Amrutham, was invited by the headmaster of a school to hoist the national flag and she accepted the invitation. However, soon the headmaster told Amrutham not to come to school for hoisting the flag. Amrutham accused the panchayat secretary Sasikumar and the husband of the panchayat vice president of stopping her from flag hoisting. The panchayat leader also said that the panchayat secretary, the former panchayat leader and a few officer bearers of the panchayat have commented about her caste and discriminated against her.

Addressing the media, Tiruvallur district collector Mageswari on Wednesday said the panchayat secretary Sasikumar has been suspended and two people have been arrested by the police. “We are planning to interrogate the panchayat leader Amrutham and we will monitor that no such incident repeats again in the district,” she said.

Amrutham also made a series of allegations against the other leaders. She said that she was not allowed to sit on the bench meant for panchayat leaders. She accused Sasikumar of receiving signs on documents without asking her opinion or explaining the details in the documents since she does not know to read and write.

On Tuesday, Ezhil, a reporter from a Tamil news channel, went to Attupakam to report on the caste-based discrimination faced by Amrutham. As soon as he reached Attupakam, he was allegedly beaten up by Sasikumar, the former panchayat leader and three more persons. He was also kept in confinement and his mobile phone was snatched away by the five men. In the attack, he sustained injuries to the eyes and chest.

Reporter Ezhil soon registered a complaint with Gummidipoondi police station. Based on the complaint, two members were arrested and cases were booked under charges of rioting, wrongful confinement and punishment for voluntarily causing hurt of Indian Penal Code.

Tiruvallur Collector Mageswari also ordered the police to take immediate action.

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