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Tamil Nadu: Dalit man killed in Trichy for ‘breaking plastic tap’

Courtesy: TNM, source(The quint)

Trichy: Three Caste Hindu men allegedly killed a 21-year-old Dalit man in Tamil Nadu for breaking a plastic tap in their field on Saturday. The murdered man identified as Kathiresan, hailed from Thirupanjili village in Trichy district and was working as an auto driver. The three men have been arrested by the Trichy police.

On Saturday, at around 6.30 am, a man entered into Kathiresan’s house looking for him. “He could not find my brother in the house, so he threatened my mother and sister-in-law. After half-an-hour, he again came back with his sons, in search of my brother,” said Ashok, Kathiresan’s younger brother.

Ashok added the three men barged into their house shouting that Kathiresan broke the tap in their field. Then they went ahead after looking for him in the field. On finding him, they tied his hands and took him to a marketplace and hit him with an iron rod, Ashok alleged.

“Around 15 people repeatedly hit him. My mother and sister-in-law reached the spot and begged them to let my brother go, but they said they are taking him to the police station. Instead, they took him to their field and murdered him,” said Ashok. Adding that the Police found his body in their field, the Quint reports.

Executive Director A Kathir of the NGO Evidence, Kathiresan’s attackers abused him over his recent marriage to a caste Hindu woman. “Kathiresan’s mother told us that the caste Hindu men were repeatedly abusing him and asked, ‘Do you think, if you marry a girl from our community, you will become equal to us?'”

Kathiresan had married Nandhini belonging to Kallar community, about five months ago. Nandini and Kathiresan were staying with Kathiresan’s family thereafter.

The three accused in the case are Thangarasu (57), and his two sons Suresh (37) and Baskar (30).
The Manachanallur police said that an FIR had been filed in the case under Sections 294 (b) (singing, reciting or uttering obscene song, ballad or words in public), 342 (wrongful confinement), 506 (iii) (criminal intimidation), and 302 (relating to murder) of the IPC, as well as multiple sections of the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Amendment Act 2015, and an investigation is underway.

Kathir added that Kathiresan had also been fighting for the rights of Dalits through political activism. According to a study conducted by Evidence, 25 Dalit activists have been murdered from July 2016 to June 2017.

“These activists have fought for the rights of Dalits – there are many who have fought for inter-caste marriages, against untouchability and so on. The reason for the murder is that they work for the public cause. The government must bring in a special act for human rights defenders, the culprits must be punished in such cases. The culprits are arrested, but there is no further trial in such cases,” said Kathir.