A 31-year-old woman from Thoothukudi district in Tamil Nadu was arrested two months after a TikTok in which she abused Dalits went viral on social media. Sudha, who works as a beautician, was taken into custody on Saturday based on a complaint by Manikandan, a lawyer from the same district.
The TikTok video, which is less than a minute in length, is from August. It went viral following the vandalisation of an Ambedkar statue in Vedaranyam, Nagapattinam. It was reportedly Sudha’s response to a video of a VCK meeting held in Coimbatore. Using casteist slurs, Sudha abuses Dalits, especially for availing reservation.
Speaking to TNM, Manikandan alleges that the Thoothukudi police had refused to take a complaint at first. “I gave a complaint on November 14 at the police station but they took it only after two days after I went to the office of the Superintendent of Police. The Deputy Superintendent of Police also didn’t take it. When she was finally brought to the police station for questioning, she is asking what is wrong with what she said. She was not cooperating with the investigation but the police were asking me to leave saying they will take care,” he says.
He adds, "The DSP asked me to re-write the complaint because I had written what she said verbatim. She was abusing Dalits in such vile words so I wrote exactly what she said against Dalits and Dalit women.”
Sudha has been booked under Sections 153A (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 505 (1)(c) (Statements conducing to public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code.
In August, Vedaranyam witnessed massive clashes between two caste groups after Pandian – a man who is part of a Mukkulathor caste outfit – allegedly ran over a Dalit man named Ramachandran with his SUV. A group of Dalit men, upon finding out about the incident, reportedly set Pandian’s car on fire. There were clashes in several parts of Vedaranyam, and a group of Mukkulathor men then beheaded a statue of Dr BR Ambedkar situated near the police station.