Thursday, August 11, 2011

[ZESTCaste] Caste Hindus force their way into Dalits plot

Tamil Nadu
Caste Hindus force their way into Dalits plot
indianexpress Express News Service , The New Indian Express
Posted on Aug 11, 2011 at 10:55am IST

NAMAKKAL: A Dalit family from the Vadagarayathur village in the
district has alleged that caste Hindus recently forced their way into
their land and buried the body of a man close to their house.
Recounting the trauma, 65-year-old Devasahayam said he lived with his
wife and two sons near a crematorium, off the main road in
Jedarpalayam near Paramathivelur.

Last Friday, the body of Valathigounder alias Palaniappan, a caste
Hindu, was buried close to the house of Asirvatham, Devasahayam's
elder son.

"A group of caste Hindus came with the body and buried it close to the
house, even though there is a burial ground near the river,"
Devasahayam complained.

The family found itself helpless in preventing the burial and lodged a
complaint with the police and revenue officials. But, the
sexagenarian's family alleged, they did not bother to move a finger on
the issue. �

Devasahayam's daughter-in-law, Sofi, said her children were afraid of
even looking at the spot where the body was buried. "The foul smell
from the buried body is traumatising," she complained.

Devasahayam was granted a five-and-a-half cent patta land 17 years
ago. But caste Hindus claimed that the area was a part of their burial
ground and the Dalit had usurped it.

"We want the entire area for burying bodies and so, deliberately
buried the body of Valathigounder in that area," said a smug
Shanmugam, a caste Hindu.

Human rights activists have taken up the Dalit family's cause and
alleged that the officials were not taking proper action on the issue.

They added that the caste Hindus were enraged because Devasahayam had
given a petition to the officials asking that the panchami land seized
from his father be restored to him.

Officials Buy Time

Sources said tahsildar K R Malliga has sought a month's time to find a
solution to the vexed issue.

When asked what steps the revenue department had taken so far on the
complaint, Malliga said, "We have sought a month's time to verify
whether the patta given to Devasahayam was genuine or not. We will
take action based on that." Nonchalantly, she added that at this
point, no action could be taken against those who had buried the body
on the plot.

Thiruchengode revenue divisional officer S Kavitha echoed Malliga.
"Had we been informed before the burial, we could have done something.
Now, if we try to remove the body from the place, we may have to face
a lot of problems. If some law and order issue arises, who will
protect us?" she said, as she tried to wriggle out of the situation.

Devasahayam and his family fear that the decomposing body would cause
some serious health problems to them.

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