The Enforcement Directorate will close a money-laundering case against two Dalit farmers from Tamil Nadu who were summoned last year, the Hindustan Times reported.

This comes days after an outrage over the agency’s summons having mentioned the farmers’ caste. Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi president and MP Thol Thirumavalavan had demanded that the agency’s officials be booked under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

The farmers, Kannaiyan and his brother Krishnan, live in Attur village of Tamil Nadu’s Salem district. The summons, sent by the Enforcement Directorate in July, had described the farmers as Hindu Pallars.

According to the lawyer of the two farmers, Dalit Parvina, the summons did not contain any details of the case they were to be questioned in, reported The News Minute.

The summons also came at a time when the farmers are engaged in a legal battle pertaining to an alleged land grab attempt by G Gunashekar, the secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Salem East district unit, the lawyer told the news website.

However, the Enforcement Directorate has said that the case against the two brothers was registered in 2022 based on a letter sent by the Tamil Nadu forest department.

“We had registered a Prevention of Money Laundering Act case in March 2022 against Kannaiyan and Krishnan based on a letter forwarded by the Tamil Nadu forest department on July 12, 2021,” an unidentified official of the central agency told the Hindustan Times. “The forest department’s case was related to the killing of two wild buffaloes under sections 51 and 9 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, which are scheduled offences.”

The official said that the central agency is taking up several wildlife cases in line with court orders and mandates issued by the Financial Action Task Force.

However, the official said that the case against the two farmers had been closed after a court acquitted them in the wildlife case pertaining to the forest department, which was the main predicate offence.

The newspaper quoted the official as saying that the mention of the farmers’ caste in the summons was a “clerical error” as the Enforcement Directorate takes up cases from the police or agencies that investigate scheduled offences and usually re-registers them verbatim.

Meanwhile, the BJP’s Salem East district chief P Shanmuganathan said that party workers are collecting information on who lodged the complaint and how the central agency issued summons to the farmers, reported The News Minute.