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Caste row involving Dalit village head: Collector gets SHRC notice
The State Human Rights Commission on Tuesday issued notice to the Coimbatore Collector K Rajamani seeking an explanation on the caste-based discrimination faced by a woman Dalit panchayat chief at J Krishnapuram near Sultanpet in Coimbatore. Taking suo motu cognizance of the incident, the SHRC has sought a response within three weeks.
V Saridha, president of J Krishnapuram Panchayat in Coimbatore alleged that P Balasubramaniam, a Caste Hindu of making casteist remarks and preventing her from discharging her duties. She claimed that he threatened her against sitting in the chair during his visit to the panchayat office.
Based on her complaint, the Coimbatore Rural police registered a case against Balasubramaniam under the SC/ST Act. Meanwhile a purported audio of a man claiming to be the husband of the Dalit woman panchayat president is heard threatening Balasubramaniam of filing a police complaint with personal motives.
Trouble arose after Balasubramaniam, a local AIADMK functionary, filed an RTI petition raising various queries regarding abrupt suspension of contract for sanitary workers and their pending dues. Police investigations revealed that the Dalit panchayat chief’s husband Veeramuthu had visited the house of Balasubramaniam and threatened to lodge a complaint against him under SC/ ST Act for filing an RTI.
Based on a complaint by Balasubramaniam’s son, the police have registered a case against Veeramuthu. Police said that investigations are on and no arrests have been made yet.