Accident – Death – Obituary News : Five individuals, including a seven-year-old boy from a scheduled caste, were brutally attacked by two youths belonging to an intermediate caste in Perungudi, Tamil Nadu’s Madurai on Monday night. The victims, identified as Ganapathi Kumar, Vijay Kumar, and Ajith Kumar, were daily wage laborers who were chatting near a stage set up for a drama before heading to work that evening, according to the FIR accessed by indianexpress.com.
Around 7.15 pm, two intoxicated youths on a motorcycle, R Mari and K Sasikumar, arrived at the scene and inquired about a person named Kannapillai. When the laborers stated that they did not know his whereabouts, an altercation ensued. One of the accused then pulled out a sword and viciously attacked the victims.
During the altercation, Periyasamy and his grandson, both members of the SC community, were passing by when they were also targeted by the assailants. The FIR mentioned that the accused hurled derogatory remarks at the three men for folding their lungis, traditional garments, while speaking to them instead of wearing them down to their toes, which is considered a sign of disrespect.
The police reported that the accused inflicted injuries to the victims’ limbs, with the seven-year-old boy sustaining cuts on his feet. Despite the screams of the victims, the assailants managed to escape before onlookers could apprehend them.
The injured individuals were immediately rushed to the Government Rajaji Hospital, and the incident sparked a protest in the village. The Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) party members demanded the immediate arrest of the accused.
Based on Ganapathi’s complaint, the Perungudi police registered a case under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including attempt to commit murder, assault, criminal intimidation, and under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
While Mari has been arrested, Sasikumar is currently on the run. Three others, Arun Kumar, Sundaramoorthy, and Muthusamy, who either aided the accused or were somehow involved in the incident, have also been arrested. Efforts are underway to apprehend Sasikumar.
A Kathir, from the Madurai-based NGO Evidence, revealed that Mari had a prior criminal record. He stated that the victims were involved in flex banner work, while Mari worked as a water tanker driver and Sasikumar was a mason. Kathir highlighted that the incident highlighted the influence of caste pride from an early age.
Kathir further expressed concern about the emergence of the ‘Aruval Kalacharam’ (sickle/sword culture) in Madurai, following its occurrence in Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi. He urged authorities not to grant bail to the accused and called for the government to provide a compensation of Rs 3 lakh to each of the four victims.
The incident serves as a reminder of the deep-rooted caste discrimination that still persists in various parts of India. It highlights the urgent need for societal change and stronger measures to prevent such heinous acts of violence..