A village in Tamil Nadu’s Tiruppur district has passed a resolution to disown social activist Gowsalya, who is known for her campaigns against caste killings, for her “activism”, The News Minute reported on Thursday.
Kathir Vincent Raj, executive director of Evidence, a Madurai-based non-governmental organisation, told Scroll.in that a resolution was passed by the villagers of Kumaralingam, the village from where her former husband hailed, on Tuesday.
In 2016, Gowsalya’s family killed her former husband Shankar, a Dalit, in broad daylight. Gowsalya was 19 and married for just eight months when Shankar was murdered. Since then, she has been campaigning against caste violence. In December 2017, a Tiruppur court awarded death penalty to Gowsalya’s father and five people. The court, however, exonerated her mother and her uncle, who were also accused in the case.
“Gowsalya’s conduct had changed in the recent days and she forgot that the people of the village had got their rights from the government after a long fight,” the resolution said. The villagers claimed that Gowsalya had been working with parties, organisations and movements that were anti-government. Besides, her activism and constant visits by the police to her house have caused them mental agony, they said. They also questioned why she should be called an anti-caste crusader since she recently remarried a person from her own community.
The villagers sought police protection and said that the resolution would be submitted to the police and state government. Udumalpet Deputy Superintendent of Police Vivekanandan, however, said the villagers had not yet submitted a letter. “If we receive a letter, we will decide on the course of action based on the contents of the letter,” he told The News Minute.
The resolution alleged that Gowsalya had started conducting parai lessons at Shankar’s house, which was disturbing the neighbourhood. Villagers said their children were losing interest in studies due to parai lesson. Parai is a type of drum used in Tamil Nadu and the northern and eastern parts of Sri Lanka.
The villagers also accused Gowsalya of sheltering outsiders in the village. “Even last week two women came and stayed over at her place,” the resolution said. “The police came in search of those women in the middle of the night and disturbed us neighbours in the name of questioning. If those who come and stay over are good people, the police would not have come in search of them.”