MADURAI: Even though police arrested all the accused involved in the murder of Venda (55), a dalit woman, on June 16 in the Chembarambakkam village of Kancheepuram district, the decision taken by the police not to register the case under the SC/ST (prevention of atrocity) Act, 1989, has irked activists and NGOs in the area.
A member in the fact-finding team of Evidence, an NGO based in Madurai who visited the village said, "The police told us the accused were dalits and that is why they didn't register the case under the SC/ST Act. But an investigation revealed that the main accused were non-dalits. We fail to understand why they have not been booked under the SC/ST Act."
According to the victim's relative Khushbu, Venda was attacked by a group which included Kanniappan (55), his son Pugalendhi (21), Mohan (32), Karthik (28) and four others. "It was Mohan who attacked her with a crowbar," said Khushbu. Venda succumbed to her injuries at the hospital on 18th June. The Baluchettychathiram police registered the case (Cr.No.380/2012) under section 294(b), 324, 307, 302 of Indian Penal Code and section 4 of the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Harassment of Women Act 1988. On June 21, the accused Kanniappan, Pugalendhi, Mohan and Karthik were remanded in judicial custody. "If charged, the provisions of the SC/ST act would have ensured stringent punishment and Rs five lakh compensation to the victim's family. It is unfortunate that the accused were not charged under the SC/ST act," said A Kathir, director of Evidence.
However, talking to TOI, C V Chandrasekaran, DSP Kancheepuram, said the allegation was false. "We have arrested all the accused who are dalits. If that is the case, how can we book them under the SC/ST Act?" he asked.
[Courtesy: TOI, June 25, 2012]