Tamil nadu police officers of Tenkasi district arrested a shopkeeper and a leader of the OBC Konar community for allegedly denying candy to Dalit school kids. They have been booked under the Protection of Civil Rights (PCR) Act for allegedly propagating untouchability.
‘இப்போல்லாம் யாருங்க ஜாதி பார்க்குறா?’ன்னு ஒண்ணும் தெரியாத மாதிரி கேட்குற வெண்ணெய்களுக்கு..
5, 6 வயசு இருக்குற சின்ன பசங்களை தன்னோட கடைக்கு வரக்கூடாதுன்னு சொல்லிட்டு இருக்கான் இந்தாளு.. அந்தாளு என்ன சொல்றான்னே புரியாத அந்த குழந்தைகளை பார்த்தா அவ்ளோ பாவமா இருக்கு.. 😑🤬 pic.twitter.com/n9Cn666lVT
— Second Show (@SecondShowTamil) September 16, 2022
The incident grabbed the attention of mainstream media after the video showing shopkeeper Maheshwaran denying candy to Dalit schoolkids surfaced in online platforms. In the video, the kids were seen approaching the shop, the shopkeeper could be heard saying “No, you can’t buy snacks here or in any other shops in the area. They have asked us not to sell anything for your people”
“A decision was taken as part of “village control” not to sell anything for you (Dalit people)” he was heard saying. You may go to school. Tell everyone in your that you can’t buy snacks here” The children are the students of the Adi Dravidar Government school in the village. While talking to media, Tenkasi collector Akash P said “The incident came to my notice on Friday evening. The police were directed to initiate an immediate inquiry”
“Today, an FIR has been registered and the shop has been sealed. I can share further details only after the end of the investigation” he added. The accused Maheshwaran and Ramachandran, of the Konar community, were arrested.
Reports of Police officials said that a quarrel took place between Konar community and Dalits in the village in 2020. A case was reportedly filed against a Konar youth who had applied to join the Army. But because of the criminal case, his application failed to go through. As a result, Konar community nursed a grudge against the Dalits and indirectly pressurized shopkeepers in the village belonging to their community not to sell anything to them. It has been reported that Konar community is dominant in the village.
In the meantime, a video of the kids narrating the ordeal due to caste discrimination has created huge outrage in the internet platforms.
இப்போல்லாம் யாரு சார் சாதி பாக்குறா என கேட்கும் மடையர்களுக்கு pic.twitter.com/0IJIDThGoW
— Dr. Senthil Kumar, PhD🖤🖤 (@senthilkthangar) September 17, 2022