Dalits cry foul over MLA attack on VC

August 9th, 2010
DC Correspondent Share Buzz up!Tirunelveli, Aug. 8: The struggle of
the dalits against the DMK regime further intensified following the
alleged attack by DMK MLA Malairaja on the dalit vice-chancellor of
Tirunelveli Anna University Kaliappan during the varsity’s first
convocation here on Saturday.

Citing the recent suspension of C. Umashankar, a dalit IAS officer
known for his probity, dalit leaders are accusing the DMK government
of deliberately targeting the community.

Complaining that Mr Kaliappan deliberately did not give him proper
information about the university’s first convocation function, Mr
Malairaja, who is also a syndicate member of the university, and his
supporters picked up a quarrel with Mr Kaliappan and attacked the
vice-chancellor and the physical education director. The incident is
said to have occurred an hour prior to the arrival of deputy chief
minister M.K. Stalin for the convocation.

However, there were no eyewitnesses to the incident as it happened
inside the closed office room of the vice-chancellor.

Mr Kaliappan complained about the attack to Mr Stalin who rebuked the
MLA. Subsequently, Mr Malairaja and his supporters boycotted the
convocation. The vice-chancellor, who was said to have been pacified
by chief minister M. Karunanidhi himself, did not respond to phone
calls from this correspondent.

Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, the director of Manitha Urimai Kalam and
a dalit activist, Mr Barathan said he has contacted leaders of various
outfits of the community and major political parties to wage a
democratic fight against the DMK.

He said the ruling party had made repeated onslaught against dalit
officers starting with minister Suresh Rajan and his men attacking
tahsildar Janarthanam in Kanyakumari in 2007, the recent suspension of
Mr Umashankar, a native of Tirunelveli, and now the assault on Mr

Mr Kathir, director of Evidence, stated that his organisation was
exploring the possibility of filing a PIL against politicians
responsible for attacks on dalit officers.

However, Mr Malairaja is said to be trying to entice leaders of the
Pallar community (a dominant dalit sect in the south) against the
vice-chancellor, who belongs to the Sermar community, a minority sect
in the SC fold in Kanyakumari.


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