Natl Commn for SC/ST visits village hit by communal clash

Madurai, Feb 25 (PTI) Members of the National Commissionfor SC and ST visited Paralipudur village in nearby Dindiguldistrict, in connection with the communal clashes that tookplace there earlier this month.

The team, led by National Commission for SCs'' State UnitDirector E Dasarathan, spoke yesterday with dalit residents ofthe village whose houses were allegedly set ablaze andransacked by caste hindus on Feb 13.

District officials including the police explained to thecommission measures taken protect the dalits and ensure peaceafter the clashes.

They said the law and order situation in the village wasbeing monitored daily by the police and revenue officials,which had brought back normalcy.

The clash erupted following a dispute over the erectionof flag masts of dalit leader Thirumavalavan�s ViduthalaiChiruthiagal Katchi (VCK) and the another caste.

Talking to reporters in Madurai, Commission member LathaPriyakumar said the Commission had recommended setting upseparate police stations all over the country to deal withatrocities against dalits.

She said besides reviewing the prevailing situation inthe district, the Commission would also audit the accountsrelating to spending of funds earmarked for the Adi Dravidarand Tribal Welfare Department (ADTWD) in seven districts,including Dindigul.

Priyakumar criticised the ADTWD of Tamil Nadu for poormaintenance of the Adi Dravidar hostels in the state and saidthe weekly food menu was not maintained in almost all hostels,leading to malnutrition among the inmates.

There was a suggestion to implement spoken english coursefor the hostel inmates, she added.

Another suggestion to cancel the annual family incomeceiling of Rs 24,000 to avail the assistance of Rs 2,500towards funeral rites in the case of death in SC/ST familiesand increase the amount to Rs 5,000 had also been forwarded tothe state government, she said.

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