At a time when the whole nation is protesting against caste-based discrimination, another such incident has come out in public light. In a shocking and inhuman incident, a Dalit woman panchayat president was forced to sit on floor during panchayat meetings by the upper caste members.
The incident is reported from Tamil Nadu. Rajeshwari S, the Dalit president of the Therku Thittai panchayat in Cuddalore district in Tamil Nadu was forced to sit on floor. . S Rajeswari has alleged that she was made to sit on the floor during meetings of the panchayat board by the vice-president ever since she was elected to the post in January this year.
“Whenever there are meetings, I am asked to sit on the floor during Panchayat board meetings by Mohan Rajan, the vice-president, because I am Dalit and they are Vanniyars. I was not allowed to hoist the national tricolour during the Republic Day in January. The panchayat vice-president said that his father would hoist the flag instead. He and three other ward members, all caste Hindus, insulted me and also forced me and another Dalit ward member Suganthi to sit on the floor during meetings while the rest sat on chairs I was also threatened by Rajan when I tried to object against the treatment meted out to me,” she said to media.
Police has registered a case against vice-president Mohan Raj under the under Section 3 (1) (r) of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The District Collector has suspended the Panchayat secretary for failing to apprise the officials about the matter and have also issued a show cause notice to the board members, including the Vice-president.
The Therku Thittai panchayat has six ward members, including two belonging to the Adi-Dravidar community, while the others are caste Hindus.