Sunday, November 17, 2013

Murugeshan: "What happened to me should not repeat to any chakkiliyars in western district...."

November 1999
Murugeshan, of Segudenthali village near Somanur, was a porter and returning to his village by bus from Somanur to Segundhenthali. There was a seat vacant and he went to sit, the neighour being a gownder (upper caste) of the village, sarcastically said "chakkiliyan sits next to me, the time is changing for worst', Murugeshan replied it’s a government bus and I am traveling with a ticket. The Gownder replied we will teach you a lesson after reaching the village.
6 pm after reaching home. Upper Caste Gownders mobilize their caste and reach Murugeshan’s house and beat him and his pregnant wife, Karupathaal. A complaint was lodged in Karumanthampati police station, at the beginning the police did not take the complaint. Murugeshan was sent to Avinashi government hospital and Karupathal  was sent to Thirupur hospital. The police delayed in registering the case, the dalit movement protested to arrest the culprit. Around 650 people were protesting in the main junction. The police arrives to the spot and arrests 482, after taking them to different places they settle them in Thirupur Anuparpalayam police station. Among them 243 were remanded at 3.a.m. As the protest continued FIR was lodged and preparation was being made to arrest the culprit. After four days all those culprits arrested were released on bail.
On 17th November 1999,
After the upper caste violence on dalits, all the villagers have fled the village for almost two months. All the villagers were ‘rehabilitated’ expect Murugeshan. In a conversation Murugeshan says “what happened to me should not repeat to any chakkiliyars in western district, and I am not a coward and I can be happy only if I live in Segundanthali village” and he goes to his village. As a party we demanded protection to Murugeshan stating the police did not arrest the main culprit and anytime Murugeshan’s life is in threat.

On November 16th in the evening around 6.30 P. M Murugeshan was attacked brutally by Gownders and Police or the ambulance or rented vehicle did not want to reach the place. No vehicles came to take him to hospital. However one of the party member take Murugeshan to Police station and record his statement and was sent to Thirupur government hospital. The next day around 12 P.M he was confirmed dead. The police immediately conducted post mortem and buried his body. Then the police arrested only 3 of those who physically manhandled Murugeshan. After 8 months the court found these 3 guilty, during the trail the Gownders would thrown the court and that was really intimidating the victims, and as victims could not gather the support Gownders did with their money. Many of the activists of Dalit viduthalai Katchi was brided many lakhs and even the victims family, however none yielded to their wishes. In one instance these Gownders offered me 15 lakhs only to be away from the court during the trail. At one time the witness were kidnapped however we got them back on time to the court. The high court confirmed the judgement of the lower court. Now they have appealed in the Supreme Court. It was a life sentences. The main culprits were never arrested, they are santhasing, chinnaswamy, soundararajan all these are crorepathy. They are the natamay of the village. Soundarajan is from Congress Party and santhasing is a big businessman and his brother belongs to congress party

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