Untouchability wall in Thokkamour village demolished

A wall was constructed on a poramboke land adjoining Draupadi Amman temple to restrict access of the Dalits in 2015 by the Most Backward Community.
The untouchability wall in Thokkamour village demolished by Tiruvallur district administration
The untouchability wall in Thokkamour village demolished by Tiruvallur district administration

CHENNAI: Four months after DT Next reported about the existence of an untouchability wall which separated about 200 Dalit families at Thokkamour, a village located about 50 km from Chennai, near Gummidipoondi in Tiruvallur, was demolished by Tiruvallur district administration in the early hours of Monday after multiple rounds of talks with Dalits and Caste Hindus. 

A wall was constructed on a poramboke land adjoining Draupadi Amman temple to restrict access of the Dalits in 2015 by the Most Backward Community. 

Y Vinoth of Thokkamour colony told DT Next that the wall was demolished by the officials on Monday at around 5.30 am using five bulldozers. “Last evening, the Village Administrative Officers visited the colony and asked people to remove the things kept near the wall. On Monday morning, a large number of police personnel were deployed and the wall was demolished in about 10 minutes. We are happy that finally the untouchability was removed,” he said. 

The Revenue Divisional Officer of Ponneri and Gummidipoondi Tahsildar oversaw the wall demolition. Vinoth said that at least five rounds of talks were held between them and Caste Hindus in the presence of RDO and Tahsildar. “The officials told us months back that the wall would be demolished. It was finally done so,” he added. 

It may be noted that Dalits were socially boycotted by Caste Hindus in the village after they sought demolition of an untouchability wall constructed around their settlement and to stop fencing of poromboke land that would deny entry to the temple and a pathway.

As their protest prevented the fencing of the poromboke land where Draupadi Amman Temple which was worshipped by both Caste Hindus and Dalits, the numerically strong Most Backward Community has issued diktats to stop interacting with the Dalits, a fine of Rs 2,000 for speaking to Dalits, engaging them in work in their agricultural lands, and stop supplying water to their crops to economically squeeze them. Dalits who traditionally cremate the dead bodies in the village crematorium were barred from doing as part of the social boycott.

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