Thursday, September 16, 2010

[ZESTCaste] 'Untouchability fence' in Tamil Nadu pulled down

'Untouchability fence' in Tamil Nadu pulled down
K A Shaji, TNN, Sep 16, 2010, 02.20am IST

DHARAPURAM: Acting swiftly against a glaring instance of
untouchability in western Tamil Nadu, revenue and police officials on
Wednesday directed caste Hindus of N Kumarapalayam village, near
Dharapuram in Tirupur district, to remove two fences they had erected
to prevent dalits from using public roads.

About 150 families of caste Hindus erected barbed wire "untouchability
fences" on Friday to prevent over 50 dalit families living in the
Aandikattu Thottam village from entering two roads maintained by
Nanjiyampalayam village panchayat. The reason given by the caste
Hindus was that the roads passed through the graveyards of their
forefathers and the frequent movement of dalits may "pollute their

Despite a police crackdown, untouchability is still practiced in
several parts of Tamil Nadu. In a shocking incident over two years ago
in Uthapuram village in southern Tamil Nadu, caste Hindus erected not
just a wire fence but a concrete wall around a dalit colony to prevent
them from entering their area. However, the wall was demolished by the
district administration.

The fences erected on Friday forced the Dalit families to take a
detour of 3km to reach the nearest ration shop, school and market.

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