SMS Help line to Address Violence Against Dalits and Adivasis in India
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Yuvaraj s/o Kanniappan, a resident of Katterikuppam Village, Mannadipattu, Pondicherry, belongs to Irula tribe. He is working as a plumber. He is living with his Wife Soundarya (18) and widowed mother Padma (38). His sister Bhuvana (19) and his brother Prakash (23) have got married and living in neighboring villages.
Yuvaraj’s wife Soundarya is working in a stationery shop located in Katterikuppam village. In the adjacent PVC bulb shop, her friend Stella is working as a sales woman. Whenever they are free, they used to chat. On 19/03/2014 around 12 am, two young men (later came to known as Ramesh and his friend) came to the shop. Soundarya addressed them as brothers and asked Anna (brother) what you want? Ramesh, verbally abused her saying, bugger do you know which caste I belongs to and you belongs to Irula tribe, how dare you call me as brother. He verbally abused her referring derogatory regarding caste and gender. Soundarya and Stella maintained calm until Ramesh and his friend leave the scene. On her return to the home, she informed her husband Yuvaraj about the verbal abuse by Ramesh. Soundarya gave the Bike registration number to her husband and she could not establish any other identity. Some days later, on noticing the bike with the same registration number given by his wife, Yuvaraj enquired Ramesh, whether he abused his wife. At that time, Ramesh denied and told he was mistaken him for someone else.
On 01/04/2014, during the Mariamman Temple festival, Yuvaraj took Soundarya to the temple. Soundarya saw Ramesh and shown him to her husband. On confirming the identity of Ramesh, Yuvaraj went up to Ramesh and asked him why you abused my wife and why you denied it the other day?. When Yuvaraj was enquiring about the abuse, Ramesh assaulted him. The police men, who were on duty for security during the festival, noticing their fight, took them to the Katterikuppam Police Station. In the police station, Yuvaraj gave a detailed complaint about the verbal abuse of his wife and physical attack on him. The police registered an FIR. Ramesh belongs to Valuthavur village. His village elders brokered for compromise and asked Yuvaraj to excuse Ramesh for this one time. Hence Yuvaraj withdrew his complaint.
On 18/05/2014 around 11 am, when Yuvaraj was on his way to his sister’s house in Villayanur village, he was intercepted by Ramesh and his friends namely Manikandan, Vinoth and two others at Valuthavur road. When Yuvaraj was about to get down from the vehicle, Ramesh and his friends kicked his motor bike. Yuvaraj fell down along with his vehicle. When he managed to stand up, Ramesh beaten him with a wooden log on his hand and on his legs. Ramesh abused him referring derogatory regarding caste name, saying, you Irula prostitute how dare you lodge a complaint against me in the police station. Because of you I happened to face humiliation among my villagers. When Yuvaraj told that you only abused my wife leading to the FIR registration. On hearing this Ramesh was further infuriated and asked how dare you speak against me. Saying so he further assaulted Yuvaraj with the stick and told you Irulas are forty in number, what you people can do to us. Ramesh friends remained as spectators during the assault and they threatened him not to lodge a complaint against them in the police station. Then Yuvaraj managed to reach the Manadipatti Social Welfare Government Hospital, to get medical treatment. On noticing the nature of the assault and the condition of Yuvaraj, the hospital authorities reported this to the Kandamangalam police Station. Inspector of the Kandamangalam Police station called Yuvaraj and enquired about the incident. Then the Inspector asked him to come to police station and to lodge a complaint. Around 3.15 pm, on reaching the police station lodged a complaint. An FIR No. 151/14, under sections 147, 341, 323, 506(i), of IPC r/w 3(1)(r), 3(1)(s) of SC/ST PoA Amendment Ordinance, 2014. On the same day night, the police have arrested Ramesh, Manikandan and Vinoth.
On 19/05/2014, 10.45 am Yuvaraj went to the police station as he was called up by the Inspector. Inspector enquired whether he is going to withdraw the complaint. Yuvaraj replied that he has no intention to withdraw the complaint. As the police delayed the FIR registration and on knowing that the police have not filed an FIR regarding the atrocity, Yuvaraj approached Mr. Siva who was a leader of the Viduthalai Chiruthaihal katchi (VCK) party. As Siva spoke to the Kandamangalam Police Inspector, a case was registered against the perpetrators. During the same day evening, VCK party member Siva asked him to withdraw the complaint. But Yuvaraj refused to withdraw the complaint. Yuvaraj reported about Siva to the VCK Party Mannadipattu Kombuyun secretary Mr. Sivashankar. Sivashankar called Siva and scolded him for the request made to Yuvaraj regarding complaint withdrawal. Later some influential people in the area called Yuvaraj and asked him to withdraw the complaint. But Yuvaraj refused to withdraw the complaint and was stubborn to seek justice for the atrocity meted out to him and his wife Soundarya. He is in constant fear, worrying about the safety and security of his family members.
Two Minor Girls of Pollachi TELC School Hostel were abducted and Raped by Habitual Rapist Veerasamy
Thilgavathi (11) D/o Pachai Muthu and Nagamani (late), resident of Pathrakali Amman Colony, Thathur panchayat, Pollachi, Coimbatore, belonging to Dalit Arunthathiyar community, is pursuing 6th standard in Tamilnadu Evanlegical Lutheran Churchadministered School. Thilagavathi’s mother Nagamani (caste Hindu Devar community) died due to Jaundice when Thilagavathi was just 8 months old. Since the death of Nagamani, Pachaimuthu deserted Thilagavathi and she was left with the care of Grandmother Rani and Nagamani’s sister Selvi and her husband Manikandan (Advasi community). Due to their poor financial condition they admitted her in the TELC Hostel since 3rd standard. Manikandan’s children namely Mohanraj (10 – 5th std) and Pushpanjali (8 – 4th std) are also pursuing their education in the Pollachi TELC School.
Mahalakshmi (10) D/o Saravanan belongs to Dalit Boer community and Janaki belongs to caste Hindu Nadar community. As Saravanan’s first wife Muthulakshmi died due to illness, he remarried Muthulakshmi’s sister Janaki. With Muthulakshmi Saravana Kumar have one daughter named Sangeetha (12). Three of Saravanakumar’s children namely Sangeetha (12), Bhupathi (11), Mahalakshmi (10) were pursuing their education in the TELC school. Due to poor financial condition, on 08/06/2014, Mahalakshmi and his younger brother Bhupathi (11) were in the TELC administered School and Hostel located in Pollachi, Coimbatore district.
Since 1984, TELC Pollachi Hostel was run without the approval of the government. Without proper registration, it has accommodated 17 boys and 3 girl students. Though it receives huge foreign funds, it has not provided adequate facilities for the children. Security Provisions were not properly established in this hostel. The Hostel administration failed to provide proper and adequate food to the children. Hence the children were reportedly sought/pegged the waste/left over foods from the hotels located in the nearby Bus station.
On 12/06/2014, around 12 am, Veerasamy, resident of Vaalpaarai, Pollachi, Coimbatore district, belonging to Dalit Arunthathiyar community, along with his accomplice came to the TELC hostel. Veerasamy in a drunken state broke open the door of the hostel while his accomplice stand guarding the door. On hearing this noise and seeing some stranger in the hostel, the children started shouting and cried for help. Veerasamy drew his knife and threatened that he will slit them if they cry for help. He asked Thilagavathi to bring water for him. After drinking the water, he asked Thilagavathi and Mahalakshmi to come along with him. When they refused, he forcefully took them to the terrace of the TELC hostel campus. On seeing Mahalakshmi and Thilagavathi being abducted by a stranger, other children of the Hostel namely Manikandan and Vimal rushed to the warden’s house and informed about this abduction. Warden Suresh Kumar in turn informed this to the School Head Master Rajendran. Rajendran informed this to the police department.
Veerasamy after taking Thilagavathi and Mahalakshmi to the upstairs, he forcefully grappled Mahalakshmi, kissed and bitten her lips. He undressed Mahalakshmi and raped her. When Mahalakshmi cried due to the pain, he threatened to slit her throat with a blade if she shouts again. Mahalakshmi started bleeding in her vaginal area due to the forced sex. Her cloths and under garments were soaked in blood and she started murmuring and fainted. Then Veerasamy forcefully raped Thilagavathi and when she shouted due to pain, he again threatened to slit her with a blade. As he noticed the people coming in search of the abducted students, he threatened that he will kill them if they reveal this to anyone. Then he escaped from the place of incident on noticing the police and the warden staffs in search of the children. Due to fear and pain, the two girl children remained silent and were hesitant to come out of the place. Around 2 am the police found them in the terrace of the TELC campus. They found Mahalakshmi stained with blood all over her under garments and her clothes. They carried them down. After making initial enquiry, both Thilagavathi and Mahalakshmi were immediately rushed to the hospital. The Hospital staffs confirmed about the commission of rape and repeated rape of Thilagavathi on noticing the marks of vaginal wound. The police have registered a case on 12/06/2014 under FIR No. 16/2014 u/s 5(H)(L)(M) and 6 of POCSO Act r/w 366(A), 376 of IPC r/w 3(1)(w(i), 3(2)(v) of SC/ST PoA Amendment Ordinance 2014. The police department has filed a case against the Hostel Warden Suresh Kumar and Pollachi TELC Church Secretary Backianathan under FIR No. 311/14 u/s 188, 336, 342 of IPC r/w Section 23 of Juvenile Justice Act, 2000.
Heads of District Administration and police officials visited the hospital and investigated the incident. The parents and relatives of Thilagavathi and Mahalakshmi went to the hospital late in the evening and they were not given adequate time to spend with their children and to console them. The hospital staffs and the police department refused them to be with their children as the Ministers and the Higher Officials of the District Administration have been visiting the hospital to meet the affected children.
The Hostel and School Administration failed to inform about this atrocity to the parents and relatives of the children. Their poor management of this grievous atrocity incident can be understood as they asked Bhupathy (11) S/o Saravanakumar and brother of Mahalakshmi to inform about this atrocity to the parents and relatives of the children. Thilagavathi’s foster parents Manikandan and Selvi were informed about this atrocity by Bhupathi only in the late afternoon. The parents and relatives of the children were not given adequate time to speak with their children. The Sub-Collector Mrs. Rashmi Siddarth Jehade fainted on seeing the blood stained condition of Mahalaksmi. Mahalaksmi sustained serious injury in her vagina and it was tore up to 8 cm deep. The Doctors have reported that Thilagavathi was having wounds in her vagina due to repeated rape.
On 13/06/2014, Parents and relatives, along with the support and hand holding of Women solidarity groups, staged a protest seeking immediate arrest of the perpetrator and his accomplice. The Police managed to arrest the associates of Veerasamy namely Gopinath, Hari, Arun, and Venkatesh. And they arrested Veerasamy on 14/06/2014. On 15/06/2014, the victims were given monetary compensation of Rs. 3 lakhs each. The District Administration has ordered the closure of the TELC Hostel and whipped up similar investigation in other children hostels in the district.
During the month of March, a video record about the abject condition revealing the lack of adequate security, basic facilities and non-provision of foods in the TELC hostel was made with the help of the inmates and it was reported to the Social Welfare Officer. But the Social Welfare Department has not taken any action in this regard. During the fact finding mission, the inmates of TELC Pollachi Hostel reportedly told they used to seek /peg waste and left over food from the nearby hotels, as the hostel administration failed to provide food to the children on regular basis.
Veerasamy, resident of Kakkan Nagar, Valpaarai, Coimbatore, belongs to Dalit Arunthathiyar community. He was married and a father of a girl child. He is a habitual child sex offender. During the interrogation he revealed that he raped street children on various occasions luring them by giving food and snacks. Recently people caught hold of him while he was sexually harassing a street child and handed over him to the police department. But the police department failed to take severe action against him. Prior to this atrocity, he was implicated under robbery and sexual assault cases against him.
On 11/06/2014, during the evening he and his associates namely Gopinath, Hari, Arun, and Venkatesh, stolen a mobile phone from a shop and sold it. With the money, they had alchohol. After this Veerasamy and one of his associates went to the TELC hostel and commissioned this grievous crime. Police Sub-Inspector reportedly told that on 11/06/2014 midnight, the police chased a group of men and the gang ran into the TELC Hostel campus and hid inside the campus. But the police have not made any serious attempt to catch them. As the criminals vanished into the campus, the police negligently left the place. This negligence of the police ended in a two minor children being raped by the perpetrator Veerasamy.
The District Administration transferred the hostel inmates to another safe residential hostel. The relatives of Thilagavathi and parents of Mahalakshmi asked the district administration to give their children back. But the District Administration and the Doctors refused to this demand and told that the children will be accommodated in other residential school ensuring provision of proper physical and psychological treatment for them.
1. Since 1984, Tamil Nadu Evangelical Lutheran Church administered School is running a residential hostel without the approval of the Government. The hostel lacks basic facilities, security provisions and the inmates were not provided food regularly. The 17 boys and 3 girl minor students were accommodated in the single room without proper security and without a woman warden in place.
2. During March 2014, the abject condition of the hostel was recorded in a video footage and was reported to the Social Welfare Officials. But the Social Welfare Department failed to take any action in this regard.
3. On 11/06/2014, around 11pm, the police patrol noticed a group of criminals on the street and chased them. As the Criminals took refuge in the TELC hostel campus, the police department negligently retracted without presuming any harm might be commissioned on the hostel inmates. The chased criminals were later known to be Veerasamy and his associates namely Gopinath, Hari, Arun, and Venkatesh.
4. On 12/06/2014, 12 am Veerasamy and his accomplice broke open the door of the TELC Pollachi hostel and abducted Thilagavathi c/o Manikandan and Mahalaksmi D/o Saravana kumar by threatening them with a knife. Veerasamy took them to the terrace of the TELC Hostel campus and raped them.
5. Hostel students namely Manikandan and Vimal rushed to the Warden’s house and informed about the abduction of Mahalakshmi and Thilagavathi. The warden informed about this to the Head Master, who in turn reported this to the police. Then they started searching for the abducted girls, along with the police men.
5. Mahalakshmi sustained serious injury in her vagina due to the forced rape and Thilagavathi was also subject to rape by the perpetrator. When they cried due to the extreme pain, he threatened them that he will slit their throat if they try to shout seeking help. As he noticed the police and the hostel staffs searching for the children, he escaped from the scene. Both the girls kept quiet, due to extreme pain and shock, and remained in the place.
6. The police and the hostel staffs later noticed them and witnessed Mahalaksmi with her blood stained clothes and bitten wounds in her lips. Then they took them to the Hospital for medical assistance. The doctors confirmed the rape and revealed that Thilagavathi was having wounds of repeated rape. Mahalakshmi who sustained severe injury in the Vagina and it was tore up to 8cm deep.
7. On 12/06/2014, Police filed a FIR regarding this atrocity. On suspicion police have arrested Gopinath, Hari, Arun, and Venkatesh, who were later known to be the associates of Veerasamy. All the four were implicated under the charge of robbery. On 14/06/2014, a police team under Inspector General Davidson, based on a tip off from the public, arrested Veerasamy.
8. An FIR was registered under FIR No. 16/2014 u/s 5(H)(L)(M) and 6 of POCSO Act r/w 366(A), 376 of IPC r/w 3(1)(w(i), 3(2)(v) of SC/ST PoA Amendment Ordinance 2014. The Hostel Warden Suresh Kumar and Pollachi TELC Church Secretary Backianathan were implicated under FIR No. 311/14 u/s 188, 336, 342 of IPC r/w 23 of Juvenile Justice Act, 2000.
9. The District Administration has ordered for the closure of the Hostel and transferred the inmates to another Residential school. Thilagavathi and Mahalakshmi were given monetary compensation of Rs. 300000 each following this atrocity.
1. Other than Veerasamy, one of his accomplice was also present during the abduction and rape. This was well established by the statement of the hostel students. But the police have not implicated the accomplice of Veerasamy who assisted him during the abduction. Hence the police have to implicate his accomplice under the sexual assault case.
2. The Government has to provide monetary compensation of Rs. 1000000 to Thilagavathi and Mahalakshmi. The State should bear of cost of education of these two minor students and provide employment after their successful completion of education.
3. The state government should implicate all the responsible government officials who failed to monitor and enforce the pre-eminence of the residential school standards should be brought under the scanner of the POCSO Act and Juvenile Justice Act.
4. The Government should create awareness and orientation programmes about the rights of children. They have to encourage the children to participate in these kinds of workshops.
5. The TELC School and Hostel Management causes the children of the hostel to seek/peg for leftover/waste foods of the nearby hotels. Hence the TELC Hostel and School Management should be implicated under Section 24(1) of Juvenile Justice Act, 2000 and stringent punishments should be awarded as per the act.
6. As the minor students were accommodated in the hostel for over a long period of time, the section 344 of IPC have to invoked, replacing section 342 in the FIR No. 311/14, ensuring stringent punishments for the Hostel Management personnel.
(A) That Gurmeet Singh belongs to the Sansi caste which is a scheduled caste in the State of Punjab. He was employed as a Siri by the Sarpanch of the village Shri Jagdish Singh S/o Sucha Singh R/o Village Jaura Kairon, Tehsil Patti District Tarn Taran in the month of June 2013.
(B) Gurmeet Singh was lured from his previous employment by Jagdish Singh with the promise that a house will be built for him and he will also get a wage of 32,000 per year for working as a siri at his agricultural farm. Gurmeet Singh was also given a debt advance of Rs 22,500 by the employer Jagdish Singh at time of his employment so that he could repay the bonded debt of his previous employer and buy his freedom to work for Jagdish Singh.
(C) Gurmeet Singh was made to work from week hours in the morning upto mid-night without adequate rest. He was not allowed weekly rest nor was he given any leave during sickness or public holidays. When Gurmeet Singh fell sick and was too weak to resume work, he wished to take leave and rest at home. At that time, the employer Jagdish Singh barged into his home abused him with filthy language, slapped him repeatedly and forcibly dragged him back to work.
(D) That Gurmeet Singh laboured hard as a siri but he was not paid his earned wages nor was the employer’s promise of building him a house ever fulfilled. Due to over work, lack of adequate rest, lack of wages, malnutrition and mental trauma Gurmeet Singh fell lost more and more of his physical strength. Unable to withstand such harsh conditions and realising that the debt advance and the promise of the house etc was empty, Gurmeet Singh decided to leave the employment and take up alternative waged employment. But Jagdish Singh told him that he is not free to leave the employment till the bonded debt which had now piled up to Rs 30,000, is repaid to the employer.
(E) The employer sensing that Gurmeet Singh may leave the employment, he forcibly took the thumb impression of Gurmeet Singh on some blank papers. Now Gurmeet Singh unable to bear the torture meted out to him by his employer has left the employement and taken up some daily waged work in some other village far from the eyes of the employer. But this was not tolerated by the employer who blocks Gurmeet Singh on his way to work and stops him from being employed elsewhere. The employer Jagdish Singh has threatened Gurmeet Singh with his life if he does not return to work or else to buy his freedom by paying the bonded debt of Rs 30,000.
That Gurmeet Singh has been stopped from even earning his daily bread by the employer Jagdish Singh till the bonded debt is satisfied.