A Dalit family in Palakkad Kerala, was attacked by an alleged assault done by their neighbour for celebrating Diwali with firecrackers. The complainants, Manikandan and his mother were injured during the attack during the altercation that transpired on October 23, the eve of Diwali. This incident was reported to the Vadakancherry police.
According to the family, their neighbour Rahmatullah and his son had come and confronting them by asking why they were bursting firecrackers, following which an argument occurred when the neighbour reportedly pushed Manikandan to the ground and kicked his mother in the chest. The complaint further asserts that the attackers used derogatory caste names during the incident.
However, despite filing a complaint, the family claims that no action has been taken by the authorities. Moreover, they insist that the local police refuse to register a case, which compelled the victim, Manikandan, to submit a complaint to the state’s Chief Minister regarding the inaction of the police in this matter.
Tamil Nadu once again sees a brutal incident of caste violence. A 26-year-old singer was reportedly assaulted in Pudukottai by people belonging to the Kallar caste, a denotified community classified under the Most Backward Classes (MBC). The survivor whose name is Prakash is from the Paraiyar community, which is recognised as a Scheduled Caste group in Tamil Nadu. Prakash, is a well-known singer and artist who frequently participates in music-related events in and around Pudukkottai. He was also a contestant on Season 2 of the acclaimed reality television show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, broadcast on Zee Tamil television in 2019. Thus far, two people have been arrested in connection with this case by the Malaiypur police, according to The Hindu.
On November 12, Prakash and his cousin Kabilan were going to Varappur on a motorcycle to get some materials for festival celebrations. However, on their way back they noticed two men from the Kallar community following them. There onwards, the two men intercepted Prakash and Kabilan and subjected them to caste-based verbal abuse. Despite attempts to evade the confrontation, two more people from the Kallar community joined the first two assailants, and started physically assaulting Prakash which also involved throwing bottles and pelting stones at him. The attack left Prakash critically injured, requiring treatment at the Pudukkottai Government Medical College Hospital, where he has received up to 15 stitches on his head.
Recounting the harrowing experience from his hospital bed, a grievously injured Prakash has stated that the assault appeared to be a targeted and brutal act. Prakash has also stated that the assailants might have recognised him from his participation in local temple festivals in their villages over the past few years.
On Sunday, November 12, in the village of Kolimigundla in Nandyala district, Andhra Pradesh, a Dalit lawyer named Manda Vijaykumar and his mother were allegedly assaulted by people who are reportedly associated with the Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP). The YSRP is a regional party in Andhra Pradesh. Vijaykumar claims that the attack was organised by Banaganapally MLA Katasani Ramireddy’s henchmen after he had exposed illegal land mutation; he also says that they have tried to attack him in the past as well. In the vicious attack, he was dragged out of his home and beaten viciously with slippers. Vijaykumar’s mother, who was asking them to spare her son, was also reportedly beaten during the incident.
What adds another layer of concern to this disturbing episode is the alleged complicity of the police who, instead of taking action against the accused, Vijaykumar himself was reportedly booked under fake charges, including sections 354A (harassing a woman), 323 (touching a woman), 506, and 509 (intimidation). His lawyer maintains that these false charges are a means to silence him as he has been actively advocating against land encroachments in the village.
In Kamalapur, a young Dalit man suffered fatal injuries during an attack on October 27. He was undergoing treatment at Gulbarga Institute of Medical Sciences (GIMS), but despite the treatment, he passed away on Monday, according to the Deccan Herald.
The local police have registered a complaint against one Shankar Parmeshwar Naikodi, a person with reportedly a lengthy history of previous offences, and six others involved in the assault on the Dalit man. While three suspects have been arrested so far, the rest are currently absconding. Two constables have also been suspended for negligence in handling the case.
The incident unfolded at an annual fair held in the village on October 26. Shankar and a few others reportedly engaged in a verbal spat, escalating to abusive language before ruthlessly attacking Jagadevappa with a rod. The victim was rushed to the hospital after his head injury, only to succumb to them later.
Charges which include those of caste abuse and attempted murder, have been filed against suspects. Authorities have reportedly amped up security measures in the village after this attack.