Tuesday, June 7, 2011

[ZESTCaste] Dalits in Villoor living in fear, says report


Dalits in Villoor living in fear, says report

Express News Service
Last Updated : 07 Jun 2011 07:32:10 AM IST

MADURAI: Dalits in riot-torn Villoor village fear more attacks by
caste Hindus once the police protection in the area was reduced, said
a report from People's Union for Human Rights (PUHR).

A fact-finding team comprising A Marx and Rajini from PUHR and K
Sukumaran from People Rights' Federation in Puducherry visited the
village on May 28 and studied the aftermath of the riots.

According to them, the Dalits were paranoid about future attacks as
anger was still simmering against them among caste Hindus. The report
said there were possibilities of attacks on Dalits, especially on the
family of Murugan.

Taking note of a significant change in police approach this time
around, the report said the department took the right decision during
the latest incident when compared to the police action of 2010. Also,
top police officials camped in the village and gave out warnings that
any form of untouchability would not be tolerated. Also, only members
of the community that instigated violence were arrested, unlike the
usual practice of arresting those belonging to both the communities
involved in riots. Key police officials hailing from other States and
who did not belong to any local community were responsible for this
change in approach, the report said. Despite police coming under
villagers' attack, Superintendent of Police (SP) Asra Garg remained
unruffled and even in police firing there was no loss of life. This
was in contrast to similar incidents that occurred in the State
earlier. The PUHR report also compared the situation with that at
Irayur in Villupuram district some two years ago, where an SP shot
dead two persons without any warning once the riots were over.

The fact-finding team said the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention
of Atrocities) Act was enforced for the first time during the recent
attacks, though untouchability was prevalent in Villoor for years
together. The report also blamed the government for not implementing
the Act strictly.


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