VCK announces protests against ‘inhuman act’ at Vengaivayal on January 11

Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi founder and Chidambaram MP Thol. Thirumavalavan on Sunday announced a State-wide protest on January 11 against the “inhuman act” of mixing human waste in the overhead drinking water tank used by Scheduled Caste members at Vengaivayal village in Pudhukottai district recently.

The incident came to light after several members of the community drank the contaminated water and fell sick.

Speaking to The Hindu, Villupuram MP D. Ravikumar felt that there was a possibility that these hateful acts could spread across Tamil Nadu if the government did not punish the miscreants.

He said the police could drag their feet and allow the issue to fizzle out despite the government’s best intentions to do justice to the victims. “We haven’t seen such an incident before. The ruling party has shown initiative in protecting Dalit rights. The Chief Minister formed the vigilance and monitoring committee and has held two meetings so far. Similarly, district-level meetings are also being held. This has never happened in the last 10 years. Similarly, the government has also set up the Tamil Nadu State Commission for SCs and STs. So, the intention is there. However, incidents such as this are on the rise owing to the right-wing politics gaining ground,” he said.

Mr. Ravikumar added, “Law and order is the duty of the government. If the State government doesn’t take this issue seriously, such acts could spread to other parts of the State. It is disappointing that no other political party or organisation has taken initiative in this issue except the Left.”

Congress’ State SC/ST cell chairman M.P. Ranjan Kumar said the district SC/ST cell head would support the agitation announced by the VCK. “We will support and participate in the protest announced by VCK. We will also organise a protest separately later,” he said.

In a statement, Dravidar Kazhagam president K. Veeramani, referring to the incidents at Vengaivayal and Mangalanadu in Aranthangi, appreciated the efforts of Pudhukottai Collector Kavitha Ramu in addressing the issue and said the State government must raise awareness by issuing advertisements that untouchability is illegal and is against human rights.

“Eradication of untouchability and annihilation of caste are our agenda. This shouldn’t be allowed in our ‘Dravidian model’ government. Kamaraj’s government had issued such an advertisement once. Those responsible for such acts should be severely punished,” said Mr. Veeramani.

He urged the DK workers not to tolerate such inhuman acts. “DK workers must immediately report these incidents and quickly get themselves involved in such issues. Humanity should thrive in 2023. It is important to put an end to this,” he said.

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