Compound or caste wall? Row over building near proposed bus stand in Dharmapuri

Compound or caste wall? Row over building near proposed bus stand in Dharmapuri

The district administration recently started work on establishing a bus stand in Eriyur, acceding to  requests by the residents.

Published: 30th April 2021 04:30 AM

The district administration recently started work on establishing a bus stand in Eriyur, acceding to  requests by the residents.

Last Updated: 30th April 2021 04:30 AM

caste. caste violence. casteism. dalit

By Express News Service

DHARMAPURI: Dalit residents of Eriyur in Dharmapuri allege that they were being denied access to a bus stand that is being constructed in the town. In their complaint to District Collector SP Karthikaa, residents of Arunthathiyar Colony accused caste Hindus of influencing a contractor into building a wall to keep them away.

The district administration recently started work on establishing a bus stand in Eriyur, acceding to  requests by the residents. Dalit residents who stay close to the southern boundary of the proposed bus stand have opposed the construction of a 8-feet high wall saying it was being built at the behest of Caste Hindus.

C Selvam, a resident of Arunthatiyar colony,  said,  “We are living in the area for decades. The bus stand is coming up on the old market road which has upset caste Hindus. They have influenced the contractors into constructing a wall around our colony.”

Pennagaram Tahsildhar Balamurugan refuted the allegation and explained that the Dalits have misunderstood the bus stand design. “This is a government project. A contractor or locals cannot interfere or tamper with the plan. There is no motive behind it. We have spoken with the people on the issue.” He added that the people are objecting as they have to travel some distance to enter the bus stand.

‘Wall blocks our colony, while the other side is open’
Perumal, another resident in the colony, said, “This is a caste wall. We are sure of this because the wall is constructed in such a way that only our colony is blocked. On the other sides the bus stand are open. It feels like we are being blocked from entering the bus stand.”

Meanwhile, Tahsildar Balamurugan said It is natural for bus stands to have a compound wall to mark the boundaries.

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