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A dalit boy abused and thrashed for taking water from a public tap

The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, has taken suo motu cognizance on a media report alleging that a dalit boy, A. Vasanthakumar, of Chakkiliya community residing at Nallichetty Palayam village in Tamil Nadu was thrashed for fetching water from public tap.

The media report carried on the 14th June, 2011 further alleged that Vasanthakumar was not only stopped from fetching water from a public tap located at Karikkilipalayam by three women of the Chettiyar community but also abused by caste names. When he protested, the three women and one P. Damodaran Chettiyar beat him up. He had to be admitted in Annur hospital, which is about 25 km. away from Coimbatore. It was also reported that the village where the victim resides, is reeling under extreme water scarcity.

According to the report, dalits are prevented from cutting hair at saloons in the locality and also prevented from using mobile phones outside their huts in the area.

Considering the matter, the Commission observed, on the 16th June, 2011 that if the contents of the media report are true then these raise a serious issue of violation of human rights to life as well as the provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 and issued notice to the Chief Secretary, Government of Tamil Nadu calling for a report in the matter to the Commission within four weeks. He has also been asked to inform the Commission on the following points:-

a) Whether any criminal case has been registered against the accused;
b) Whether any relief has been given to the victim under the provisions of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989;
c) What steps are being taken to prevent such acts of discrimination against Dalits.

Source: http://nhrc.nic.in/dispArchive.asp?fno=2324

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