COIMBATORE: Dalit villagers staged a protest throughout the night with the body of a woman after caste Hindus prevented the cremation of a 102-year-old woman at the common burial ground in Annur near Coimbatore.
Rangammal, the 102-year-old Dalit woman from Onnakarasanpalayam village in Annur died of age related illness on Saturday. Her family members and villagers thereafter took her body to be cremated in the common burial ground, used by Caste Hindus, at night. However, a group of caste Hindus, also hailing from the same village, prevented them from using the common burial ground for the last rites of a Dalit. As tension mounted, the deceased woman’s kin staged a protest by placing the body in the middle of the road.
On receiving information, officials from the Revenue Department and police held talks with the two groups. “There is a burial ground for Dalits. As there was no space in it, they took the body to be cremated in a ground used by caste Hindus. However, they vehemently opposed it claiming that there is also a temple near the spot, where the Dalits decided to cremate. It was then brought to light there was still some space in the burial ground for Dalits. Therefore, they took the body back there itself in the early morning hours,” said a police officer, requesting anonymity.
Police said no complaint was preferred and therefore a case has not been registered, but an inquiry is under way.