Forcibly evicted by neighbours from Tirupur village, alleges Dalit man

Forcibly evicted by neighbours from Tirupur village, alleges Dalit man

POSTED ON NOVEMBER 17, 2020

The Sundakadampalayam panchayat president has been accused of having had a role in the abuse, which included dragging the man to the police station with allegations of sexual harassment.

M Kumar (36) is the only Dalit in a neighbourhood full of families from a dominant caste.M Kumar (36) is the only Dalit in a neighbourhood full of families from a dominant caste.

TIRUPUR: In a shocking incident, a Dalit man residing in Uthukuli has alleged that he has been forced out of his village by his dominant caste neighbours.

The Sundakadampalayam panchayat president has been accused of having had a role in the abuse, which included dragging the man to the police station with allegations of sexual harassment.

M Kumar (36) is the only Dalit in a neighbourhood full of families from a dominant caste.

The number had, however, not always been skewed against him. When he bought this 2.25 cents of land in Guruvayurappan Nagar from one Kousalya in 2013, there were mere five houses in the area.

M Kumar’s belongings after he was allegedly forcibly evicted.

“I was born and raised in Urumandapalayam near Kovundampalayam (near Coimbatore city). I was working as a construction worker for several years and then moved to the cattle business. Meanwhile, I decided to build a house in Uthukuli. I spent over Rs 1.5 lakh and built a small house,” he recounts.

Now, in a neighbourhood of over 100 families, Kumar was excluded from all social activities and pursuits. Matters came to a head when plans were drawn up for a Ganapathy Temple in the locality in 2017. While the neighbours pooled money for the construction, he was left out.

“When I questioned them, they claimed that it was because I do not belong to their caste. When I reported the incident to the then panchayat president, Rasathi, she stepped in and asked the neighbourhood group to include me in the proceedings. They refused to comply. So, she refused to give them permission to carry out the temple construction. This angered the group and led to them raising false allegations against me,” claims Kumar.

Since then, he’s been subjected to casteist slurs, with people reportedly claiming that Dalits should not reside in the village and certainly not in their locality. On November 8, Kumar says that a group of people headed by Sundakadampalayam panchayat president Anand barged into his house, hurling casteist slurs and thrashed him and his 65-year-old mother Papal.

“They took me to Kunnathur police station and accused me of sexual crimes, saying that a person of such conduct cannot be a resident of the village. Even as I was at the station, they hired two vans and vacated my house of my belongings, my goats and cows, and my two bikes. The police personnel, too, threatened me, forced me in the van with my belongings and sent me to my brother’s house outside the village (2.5 km away),” he narrates.

While he has submitted a petition at the district police headquarters, no action has been taken, he claims.

Tirupur Collector K Vijaya Karthikeyan told The New Indian Express that he has instructed the police to conduct an inquiry into the incident and assured that action will be taken immediately.

District Police Superintendent Disha Mittal, on her part, reiterated that this was a serious issue and said the case has been transferred to Kunnathur police station under a team headed by Deputy Superintendent of Police L Baskar.

Courtesy : TNIE

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