Dalit boy allegedly thrashed, forced to eat excreta by upper caste Hindu man

The incident took place in Tamil Nadu’s Dharmapuri district on Tuesday

attack on dalits

On Tuesday night, a 46-year-old caste Hindu man was arrested near Pennagaram, Tamil Nadu, for allegedly assaulting a 14-year-old Dalit boy and forcing him to carry and eat feces, The New Indian Express (TNIE) reported.

The accused, K Rajasekar of the Kodarampatti village in Pennagaram, was produced before a Principal District Judge on Tuesday, July 21, and remanded to the Dharmapuri sub-jail after testing negative for Covid-19.

An FIR against Rajasekar was registered on the basis of a complaint by the victim’s family against him at the Pennagaram police station. TNIE reported that as per the FIR, Rajasekar saw the boy allegedly defecating on his property and assaulted him. Apart from this, Rajasekar also reportedly made him eat the feces and carry it with his bare hands. The boy carried the excreta and fled from the property. Rajasekar also allegedly yelled casteist slurs and verbally abused the teenager.

The Quint reported the boy’s father as saying, “It was raining heavily on July 15 and my son got an umbrella from me and left home for defecating in the open. We have a toilet constructed by the Central government but we do not have water, so we defecate in the open. On that day, my child was defecating on the land owned by Rajasekhar, when he passed by that way. On seeing the child, he immediately got down from the vehicle and started hitting my son with a cane for defecating in the open.”

Rajasekar was booked under Section 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) of the IPC and Section 3 (j) of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act for “forcing SC persons to do manual scavenging”, TNIE reported.

A similar incident had taken place in Tamil Nadu in 2015 where a government school teacher in Namakkal had allegedly forced a Class II student to clean human excreta in the classroom. However, the teacher was sentenced to five years’ rigorous imprisonment only in 2020 after the Dalit student’s parents filed a police complaint with the help of local Dalit outfits, reported The Indian Express.

In April 2019, two people belonging to the upper caste were arrested for allegedly urinating on a Dalit man’s face, forcing him to eat human excreta and brutally assaulting him with sticks in Tiruvarur, reported Scroll.In 

Atrocities on Dalits increase during lockdown

Caste atrocities in Tamil Nadu have increased nearly five-fold in the lockdown, Dalit organisations told The Caravan. Collating the data on the rise of anti-Dalit atrocities, Vincent Raj, the founder of Evidence, an organisation which works for Dalit rights, told The Caravan, “According to our studies, which we conduct on a regular basis, every month in Tamil Nadu there are about 100 to 125 cases filed under Atrocities act, five to seven of them being brutal.” He added that the number of atrocities against Dalits were five, eight and six in January, February and March this year, respectively.

Insult and humiliation have been the most commonly used tools by the upper castes against the Dalits. To add to this, the state government’s apathy towards the community has made the situation even more precarious. Neethirajan, one of the founders of the Tamil Nadu Untouchability Eradication Front told The Caravan that the state’s prominent parties – the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, had not implemented schemes like the Special Component Plan (SCP) which called for special fund allocations for Dalits.  

In 2018, as per the data by the National Crime Records Bureau, Tamil Nadu had recorded 1,413 cases of crimes against SC/STs. This evidence – state negligence and lack of efforts at economic upliftment – points to the overall systemic rot which has aided the occurrence of these incidents.


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