Case against Dalit activist flayed

When contacted, a senior police official from Madurai district denied any ulterior motive in filing the case against Mr. Selvam. “Unhappy with this, the jurisdictional Valandur police registered a case against Mr. Selvam on August 6, 2017,” he added. Samam Kudimakkal Iyakkam (SMI), a Madurai-based non-governmental organisation, has condemned a case allegedly foisted against its member and Dalit activist named P. Selvam by the Madurai district police last week. “If there was indeed an issue, why was a case not filed immediately,” he asked. “Condemning this, Mr. Selvam, who has been fighting for the issue since 1998, filed a complaint with the revenue officials demanding action against the police.


Samam Kudimakkal Iyakkam (SMI), a Madurai-based non-governmental organisation, has condemned a case allegedly foisted against its member and Dalit activist named P. Selvam by the Madurai district police last week.

The NGO has alleged that the case was filed against Mr. Selvam since the police were irked by his approaching court to file a case against a few police officials for their “high-handed” approach against a group of Dalits in Kuravakudi when they recently tried to assert their rights over a piece of land for which they were issued patta in 1998.

C.J. Rajan, State president of SMI, said that the issue began on July 16, 2017, when a section of Dalits tried to erect make-shift sheds in the particular piece of land, which has subsequently witnessed a number of litigations.

“The Dalits made the move since the district administration has failed to allocate the land to the Dalits despite their struggle for nearly two decades. Even if it was considered an act of encroachment, he said that it must have been left to the revenue officials to handle” he said.

Mr. Rajan alleged that the erected sheds were demolished and burnt by a few locals with the support of police, who chased away the Dalits.

“Condemning this, Mr. Selvam, who has been fighting for the issue since 1998, filed a complaint with the revenue officials demanding action against the police. Since no action was taken, he moved the court against a senior police official present in the venue,” he said.

“Unhappy with this, the jurisdictional Valandur police registered a case against Mr. Selvam on August 6, 2017,” he added.

Mr. Selvam, who was arrested and came out on conditional bail, said that the police took a complaint from a Dalit woman, who is working on the controversial land under the control of caste Hindus, alleging that he had attacked and harassed her.

He also questioned the timing of filing the FIR. “If there was indeed an issue, why was a case not filed immediately,” he asked.

Both Selvam and the SMI have made representations to National Commission for Scheduled Castes for an enquiry and action against the police officials and to sort out the issue over the land.

When contacted, a senior police official from Madurai district denied any ulterior motive in filing the case against Mr. Selvam.

He said that due process was followed in filing the FIR as per the complaint received from the woman.

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