The Dharmapuri police in Tamil Nadu on Friday, February 9, arrested two women from the dominant Backward Class (BC) discriminating Dalit women on the basis of caste. They were booked under the Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribes Prevention of Atrocities Act following a complaint by one of the victims. The accused were identified as Dharani and Chinnathayi belonging to the Kongu Vellalar Community.
A video of Dharani and Chinnathayi practicing untouchability against five women who went to work in their field in Marappanayakkanpatti village, went viral on social media. The victims belonged to the Paraiyar community, a Scheduled Caste community. In the video, the accused had served tea to the women in coconut shells instead of tea glasses.
As per the details provided by the police, on February 8, Chelli (50) and four other women, residents of Polaiyampalli village, as agricultural labourers went to work in the field owned by one Bhuvaneshwaran.
Family members of Bhuvaneshwaran – Dharani and Chinnathayi – served tea to the workers as a refreshment. But the tea was served in coconut shells instead of tea glasses. A resident from the village who witnessed the humiliation recorded the incident on his phone. Later, the video was shared online. The video went viral.
Subsequently, Chelli lodged a complaint with the Kambainallur police station on February 9. Based on her complaint, the police arrested Dharani and her mother-in-law Chinnathayi under section 3(1)(r) of the SC/ST POA. 3(1)(r) stipulates punishment for intentionally insulting or intimidating with intent to humiliate a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe in place within public view.
Kambainallur police told TNM that the accused were produced before the court and later sent to the Salem Central Prison.