– Demands stringent actions against the murderers of 7 Dalits in Paramakudi –
New Delhi, September 20 : On September 11, 7 Dalits were killed in brutal violence and firing by the Tamil Nadu state police, which also left many seriously injured at Paramakudi. It was an act of connivance of feudal elements in the state machinery with a rival community. While condemning this act of illegality, we are also saddened by the loss of lives caused by such reckless and arrogant actions of irresponsible police officers. Till date nothing has happened, the commission of enquiry set up is yet to submit its report and no action has been taken against the officials. We demand immediate action must be taken against IG of Police Rajesh Das, DIG of Police Sandeep Mitta, Deputy Comissioner from Chennai Adayar Senthile Vilam deputed to Paramakudi and Inspector Shiva Kumar, Paramakudi.
It is astonishing to note that a prominent Dalit leader’s (Shri. Immanuel Sekaran) annual memorial ceremony is marked regularly in the state as a militarized day. It is equally condemnable that the oppressed dalit community is often denied administrative permissions to organize gatherings on the day, since curfew and imposition of Section 144 of IPC seem routine. In this context, it is to be noted that a writ petition had been filed before the Madras High Court Bench seeking facilities such as drinking water, food stalls, medical aid, garbage bins, public information booths and special buses from various parts of the State to the memorial where nearly 15 lakh people gather every year. The petitioner had also mentioned that permission is denied to open food stalls and other public service centers by the administration, which leads to lack of planning and preparation.
Historically while looking at struggles of the Dalits to assert themselves, there have been violent clashes in where Dalits have been targeted and are at the receiving end by elements within the upper or intermediate caste groupings. The rights to access public spaces and be free from the humiliating casteist experiences have been through the constant struggle, martyrdom and assertion of Dalits. This act by the police has once again proved that the attitude towards the assertion of Dalit movements will be dealt with force ending with bloody acts.
We also condemn the murder of Palanikumar, a Dalit, on the day before Immanuel Sekaran Memorial Day by a group of caste Hindus alleging to a objectionable wall graffiti against a leader of the rival caste.
It’s very clearly evident that there have been no serious thoughts by the administration before this heinous act. Instead of having negotiations and engaging in processes to calm the agitation by the people and allow them to commemorate the death anniversary of the martyr Immanuel, the police have created even more bloodshed. This exactly is the lack of imagination and maturity of the police to deal such a grave situation.
While welcoming the judicial enquiry, in order to ascertain the facts we demand that justice be done to those killed and action taken against the police officials responsible for those. We also demand that adequate provision be made for the celebration of the Sekaran Memorial day every year so that such incidents are not repeated again in future. We do hope that the announcement by the Chief Minister of reconstituting district peace committees will lead to decrease in the caste and communal tension in the state in coming days.
National Alliance of People’s Movements
National Forum of Forest People and Forest Workers
National Fishworker’s Forum
Jharkhand Mines Area Coordination Committee
Him Niti Abhiyan
Matu Jan Sangathan
National Domestic Workers Union
Shahri Kamgar Mahila Sangathan
Delhi Solidarity Group
Medha Patkar, Convener, NAPM
Banwari lal Sharma, Azadi bachaao andolan,
Sandeep Pandey, Convener NAPM
Gabriele Dietrich, Convener NAPM
Sister Celia, Convener NAPM
Chennaiah, Convener NAPM
B Rama Krishna Raju, Convener NAPM-A.P.
Raja Reddy, Convener NPPV
Dr. G Vijay Kumar Founder Member of J.V.V.
Madhuresh, National Organiser, NAPM
P.S. Ajay Kumar, Co-Convener, NAPM AP
K. Saraswathi, Co-Convener, NAPM AP
Vijayan M J, Delhi Forum
Anil Varghese, Programme for Social Action
National Alliance of People’s Movements
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