Tamil Nadu: 7 held for forcing Dalit to fall at OBC man’s feet

Written by Arun Janardhanan
| Chennai |

October 14, 2020 1:06:15 am

Police have found a video of the incident.

Thoothukudi police on Tuesday arrested seven people for allegedly forcing a Dalit man to fall at the feet of a man from the OBC Thevar community following a clash between them while grazing sheep and goats.

According to police, the incident took place on October 8 when Dalit shepherd Paulraj (60) and Sivasangu (60) — both from the same village — were grazing their goats and sheep. One of Paulraj’s sheep ran into the herd Sivasangu was grazing and the former ran into the latter’s herd to get his sheep. This provoked Sivasangu and he allegedly attacked Paulraj. As both men fought, a bystander managed to settle the matter, police told the media at a press meet Tuesday.

Sivasangu later called his relatives and told them that he was attacked by a “lower caste man”, said police. Men from the Thevar community then forced Paulraj to apologise by falling at Sivasangu’s feet. Paulraj has alleged that he was threatened that if he refused to fall at Sivasangu’s feet, his throat would be slit.

The police investigation has also found that a video, reportedly shot by members of the Thevar community and showing Paulraj purportedly falling at Sivasangu’s feet, was circulated among members of the community.

Sivasangu, his sons S Sangilipandi (19) and S Maharajan (20) and relatives S Periyamari (47), Veeraiah (42) and Mahendran (20) were arrested on Tuesday.

The district administration has been asked to stay alert as the region has a history of caste clashes.

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