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Communalism

Cases filed against three students in Tamil Nadu for pushing Irula student into burning garbage heap

Published : May 11, 2022 13:42 IST T+T-
The Irula student with burn injuries in the hospital.

The Irula student with burn injuries in the hospital.

A 11-year-old schoolboy from a tribal community suffered serious burn injuries when three of his schoolmates belonging to the Vanniyar community pushed him into a burning garbage heap at Kattukurichi village near Tindivanam in Villupuram district of Tamil Nadu on May 9.

A 11-year-old schoolboy from a tribal community suffered serious burn injuries when three of his schoolmates belonging to the Vanniyar community pushed him into a burning garbage heap at Kattukurichi village near Tindivanam in Villupuram district of Tamil Nadu on May 9. The boy sustained serious burns and was admitted to the Tindivanam Government Hospital where his condition was said to be stable.

Based on a complaint from his father Kanniyappan, the Vellimedu police have registered cases against the three boys, all aged between 11 and 14 years, under Sections 324 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) read with Sections 3 (1) (r), 3 (1) (s) Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2015.

The police said that the victim is Class VI student in the village Government High School. Apparently, the boys have been taunting the student from the tribal community with casteist slurs. About a month back, he brought the issue to the notice of the school headmaster, who warned the boys. Since then, the students from the Vanniyar community had been nursing a grudge against the tribal student. On May 9, when he was returning home from school, the students confronted him and pushed him into the burning garbage heap nearby.

Shocked over the incident, rights activists alleged that explicit caste discrimination once found among schoolchildren in southern districts had started rearing its ugly head in the northern parts of the State too. Members of the Irula tribe have begun to join mainstream society in recent times, and become targets of attack.

An activist who has been working with people from the Irula community said: “People have realised the importance of education and of late their children have started coming to schools. The government must sensitise the younger generations about the evils of casteism.”