Two persons were arrested in Tamil Nadu’s Tenkasi district on Saturday after a video on social media showed that one of them, a shopkeeper, refused to sell candy to children from the Dalit community, ANI reported, citing the district collector.
In the video from KV Nallur area of Tenkasi, the shopkeeper identified as S Maheshwaran told the children that it was decided in a village meeting not to sell anything to persons from their community, reported The Indian Express.
“Don’t buy any candy from here. Go to school,” the shopkeeper says in Tamil, according to The Indian Express. “You shouldn’t buy any candy from any of the shops here. Go and tell the people at home that the shopkeepers aren’t giving eatables. We won’t give and there is a restriction.”
The children ask the shopkeeper what restrictions were imposed to which he says: “The village meeting has decided not to give eatables to people from your street. So, leave. Go,”
The video shows the group of children leaving the shop without buying anything.
On Saturday, the Tenkasi District Police said that it has taken cognisance of the matter and registered a first information report.
After an inquiry, District Collector P Akash found that the decision to not sell items to the children were taken following a clash between the members of the two castes, reported The Hindu.
A police inquiry found that some youth belonging to a particular caste and the Scheduled Caste had clashed during a wedding. The police booked some the youth from the other caste under the provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. They also registered a case against a few Scheduled Caste youths based on the complaint by the opposite group.
Following the clash, one youth, K Ramachandran alias Murthy, could not appear for the armed forces recruitment due to the case against him under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, according to The Hindu.
A meeting was then organised to restore peace between the two communities and for withdrawing the complaints. But, both the sides failed to resolve the conflict.
It was after the meeting that one of the groups decided not to sell items to members of the Scheduled Cast communities.