Dalit Panchayat President alleges discrimination
Virudhunagar (TN): A Dalit President of a panchayat in the district has sought police action against his deputy and some councilors alleging discrimination by them on caste grounds and that they were preventing him from functioning independently.
Karuppan, President of Kottakaichiyendal Panchayat, in a letter to Tamil Nadu Director General of Police has complained that Vice-President of the panchayat and some councilors and the clerk made him sit on the floor during the council meeting held last month.
He said the Vice-President and councilors did not even listen to his suggestions and did not give due respect to the President as per the protocol. Karuppan also said he was not able to function independently.
The husband of the Vice-President also threatened him to sign in certain files and warned him against leaking out Panchayat matters to others.
There was no action from the higher officials though he lodged complaints with them, he said in the letter, urging the DGP to take action under the Protection of Civil Rights Act and the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
The election for the President post in the panchayat could not be held for several years as it was reserved for SCs and a section of the Caste Hindus did not like a Dalit to head the village local body.
But due to efforts taken by then Collector Jawahar, Karuppan was elected President and he was functioning without any problem till 2011. But he has now complained that since the beginning of his second term this year he was not able to function effectively.
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