A Dalit man was allegedly forced to eat human excreta and assaulted by people belonging to an upper caste in April in Tiruvarur district in Tamil Nadu, according to The Hindu on Wednesday. Police arrested two of the three accused under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act on Monday, but the Dalit man said only one accused was arrested.

Tiruvarur Superintendent of Police M Durai said the case was being investigated with all seriousness and the third accused in the case would also be arrested soon.

A case has been registered under provisions of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, Section 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint) and other relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code.

At a press conference in Madurai on Tuesday, P Kollimalai alleged that S Sakthivel, V Rajesh and S Rajkumar assaulted him with sticks on April 28 when he was returning from his brick kiln at Tiruvandudhurai village in Tiruvarur. A first information report was registered the same day.

The three people allegedly tied Kollimalai’s hand, abused him by mentioning his caste, and shoved human excreta into his mouth, according to The Federal. Kollimalai alleged that the three men, who belong to the Kallar community, also urinated on his face when he refused to open his mouth.

Kollimalai said the three men targeted him as he had intervened in a clash between two communities during a temple festival three years ago, according to The Hindu. He claimed he had filed a complaint against them, following which the men have been targetting him and his family.

Kollimalai said the villagers caught three men and handed them over to the police. He claimed the police let the accused go without arresting him. Kollimalai demanded that police arrested Rajesh and Ramkumar.

Evidence, a non-governmental organisation, blamed the police for not taking the case seriously. Executive Director of Evidence A Kathir said Kollimalai’s family faced constant threats from the accused and termed the incident a “serious case of atrocity”.

Kathir demanded that action be taken against police officials under Section 4 of the SC/ST Act, entailing punishment for neglecting duties.