The Tamil Nadu Police have booked over 36 men after they allegedly forced a Dalit man from the Adi Dravidar community to lie down in front of them, reported The Indian Express.
The incident took place in the Ariyalur district’s Valarakurichi village on July 8 when S Anbarasan, a Bharatiya Janata Party functionary and brother of the victim, was organising an event to celebrate his daughter’s puberty ceremony, according to the first information report filed on July 14.
The procession, during which some people burned firecrackers, had passed through the street where the accused persons live. The police said that on the next day, the accused persons stopped Anbarasan, abused him for bursting crackers and threatened him with dire consequences.
On July 11, the accused persons also allegedly abused Anbarasan’s brother Thirunavukarasu when he went to buy a cigarette near the same area. Following this incident, the police intervened and called both sides for talks, said the FIR.
The accused persons belong to a community that is part of the Most Backward Classes in Tamil Nadu, according to The Times of India.
On the next day, Thirunavukarasu was allegedly told to fall down on the feet of the accused persons and to assure them that such incidents will not recur, reported The Indian Express. He was allegedly told to do so during a meeting of leaders of the two communities before they were to go to the police station.
Superintendent of Police K Feroze Khan Abdullah told The Hindu that the police have registered a case against the accused men identified as Kannan, Rajesh and 34 others under the provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
They have also been booked under Sections 147 (rioting), 294b (singing, reciting or uttering any obscene song, ballad or words in or near any public place), 355 (assault or criminal force with intent to dishonour person) 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.
The police have arrested Rajesh, and a court has remanded him to judicial custody. A team has been formed to arrest the others, who are absconding.