COIMBATORE: Over a week after the Mettupalayam wall collapse incident, a Dalit man who had participated in the protests that followed has accused the police of torturing him and breaking his little finger. He claims that he was picked by the police on Monday night, when he was returning home from work. Even as various social movements have condemned the act, the sub-inspector of police has denied all claims as lies. The man was arrested for causing disturbance in the area after consuming alcohol, the officer said.
P Lakshmanan (35) of Kannappan Nagar at Nadur in Mettupalayam, claimed that he was picked by a team headed by Sub-inspector Thilak on Monday night. He, a daily-wage labourer, had finished work and was walking back home; he had consumed alcohol.
“The police were waiting in front of the house and abused me with caste slur. Soon after, they started attacking me in front of the people who had gathered there. They took me to the Mettupalayam police station where Thilak made me lie and hit me on my feet, shoulders and broke the little finger on my right hand,” Lakshmanan narrated.
After the assault, his fingerprints were taken and he was let go, he said, adding that he was not told if a case has been booked against him.
Many people have come forward to voice out against the alleged brutality. Ambedkar Legal Works Committee member and a senior advocate in Madras High Court, P Rathinam, said that the police have been trying to suppress the people affected in the wall collapse incident by such brutal acts. It was Rathinam who had filed a petition in the high court against the release of life convicts in Melavalavu murder case.
Members of the Untouchability Eradication Movement, Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam (TPDK), Dravidar, Ambedkar Legal Work Committee and Dravidar Tamilar Party have demanded that the sub-inspector be booked under SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and arrested.
“Since the wall collapse, police personnel have been heaped at Nadur. They are preventing people from stepping outside the house at night. Though Lakshmanan had consumed alcohol, he did not cause any trouble. The police assaulted and humiliated him because he had participated in the protest on December 2. This should be taken into serious consideration. Otherwise, a strong protest would be launched,” said TPDK General Secretary K Ramakrishnan. It was on Tuesday that they were able to locate the man and get him treated at a government hospital.
‘Police using brutal acts’
Ambedkar Legal Works Committee member and a senior advocate in Madras High Court, P Rathinam, said that the police have been trying to suppress the people affected in the wall collapse incident by such brutal acts
Published at Tue, 10 Dec 2019 15:55:00 +0000