The police have arrested seven persons for allegedly forcing a Scheduled Caste shepherd to fall at the feet of intermediate caste Hindu shepherd as a mark of tendering apology to him following a tiff between them.
“Besides arresting seven accused in this case, we’ve provided protection to the house of Paulraj, the victim,” said S. Jayakumar, Superintendent of Police, who visited the Kayathar police station and the victim’s house on Tuesday after the case was registered on Monday based on a complaint from Mr. Paulraj.
When Mr. Paulraj took his sheep and goats for grazing to Thirumangalakurichikulam tank on October 8, S. Sivasangu, an intermediate caste Hindu shepherd from the same village, also took his sheep and goats inside the water body for grazing. When a lamb of Mr. Paulraj accidentally entered the herd of Mr. Sivasangu, the former entered the herd of Mr. Sivasangu in a bid to take the lamb back to his herd. Agitated over this, Mr. Sivasangu, after verbally abusing Mr. Paulraj by allegedly referring to his caste, tried to attack him with a club. As Mr. Paulraj resisted it, Mr. Sivasangu went to the village and mobilized his relatives S. Periyamari, S. Veeraiya, P. Mahendran, S. Maharajan, S. Sangilipandi and S. Udaiyammal, who assaulted Mr. Paulraj and reportedly threatened him of dire consequences.
The victim alleged that they forced him to fall at the feet of Mr. Sivasangu multiple times as a mark of tendering apology to him even as Mahendran and Maharajan were allegedly recording it with their mobile phones. After they posted this video on social media, Mr. Paulraj submitted a complaint with Mr. Jayakumar seeking action against all the accused.
As the complaint was referred to the Kayathar police station, a case was registered against Sivasangu and others on Monday under Sections 147 (punishment for rioting), 294(b) (uttering obscenities in public), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 506(ii) (criminal intimidation) of The Indian Penal Code, read with sections 3(i)(r), 3(i)(s) and 3(2)(v)a of The SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, read with 66 of IT Act.
Subsequently, the police arrested Mr. Sivasangu and others on Tuesday while police protection, led by a Sub-Inspector of Police, has been given to the house of Mr. Paulraj.
“The police will give the victim’s family the much-needed protection till the tense situation prevailing in the village subsides completely,” said Mr. Jayakumar.
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