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Discriminated Against, Dalit Priest Ends Life

on 2012/12/15 3:01:29 ( 2475 reads )


MADURAI, INDIA, December 9, 2012 (The Hindu): A 22-year-old Dalit working as a priest in a local temple committed suicide by hanging on Friday after he was allegedly subjected to caste discrimination and harassment by caste Hindus of his village.

S. Nagamuthu (22) of T. Kallupatti village under Periyakulam circle in Theni district had been working as a priest at the Kailasanathar Malaikoil for seven years. He was assisting the main priest and, at times, when the former was absent, used to conduct pujas.

A few months ago, he was asked to keep off on auspicious occasions and festival times as it was alleged that devotees were hesitant to visit the temple where a Dalit was the priest. He objected and was assaulted.

Nagamuthu approached the Thenkarai police to register a complaint and file an FIR against the assailants. The police received the complaint and he was given the acknowledgement receipt without cases being filed.

As the police refused to register the case, Nagamuthu approached Evidence, an NGO based in Madurai. It intervened by filing a petition before the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court which, after hearing the petition on August 31, asked the police to file a case.

Nagamuthu is understood to have left a suicide note that names some persons as being responsible for his suicide. Besides he mentioned that the police had failed to provide adequate security to him and his family.

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