Wednesday, August 17, 2011

[ZESTCaste] Cheat uses love, fear to grab land of dalits

Cheat uses love, fear to grab land of dalits

August 15, 2011
By Pramila Krishnan

A conman in Dindigul encouraged two dalit brothers to marry the upper
caste women they had fallen in love with and then exploited their fear
of reprisal from their wives' families to grab 12 acres of land from

According to a police complaint, Sakthivel and Andavan were in love
with Selvi and Saraswathi, who were from upper caste families.

A distant relative of Selvi and Saraswathi, P. Natchimuthu Gounder,
encouraged the brothers to marry the women in an elaborately planned

Gounder arranged for the marriage even though the dalit brothers had
been warned to stay away from the women by their upper caste
relatives, the complaint filed by the brothers and their wives in the
police anti-land grabbing cell said.

Gounder got the young couples to elope to Erode, promising to protect
their land from encroachment, but sold the property without their
knowledge. The brothers have now approached the DGP for help.

"We were frightened about a possible caste clash in our village and
Natchimuthu Gounder told us he would provide us protection and
arranged for the marriage," they said in the complaint.

"He asked us to move to Erode where he said we could live without
fear. He asked us to give him power of attorney for the 12 acres of
land we own in Dindugul so he could safeguard the property."

Gounder told them that a group of upper caste people had encroached on
their land and if they tried to venture to the spot they would be
beaten up.

"He said if we gave him power of attorney for the land, he would
ensure it remained safe. We trusted him and did as he said in January
2004," they added.

The director of NGO Evidence, A. Kathir, who has been helping the
brothers, said, "Natchimuthu Gounder sold the land in 2006 without
informing the brothers."

"Though they filed a complaint against Gounder, no action has been
taken against him so far. They said Gounder and his family filed a
false case against them and they had failed to attend court
proceedings, further complicating matters. They have now approached
the DGP to retrieve their land."


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