Coimbatore, Aug 10: Condemning the registration of an FIR against six Dalit school students for allegedly attacking another group of children belonging to an upper caste in Madurai district, Puthiya Tamizhagam today sought a high-level inquiry into the matter and punishment for police officials who took action.
Referring to slapping of IPC and POCSO sections against the Dalit students, Dalit-based PT President D Krishnasamy said it was "ridiculous" that police booked the children of less than 10 years of age on the charge of sexual assault.
Talking to reporters here, he claimed that there was no special juvenile unit in the police station where the case was registered and the personnel there charged the six without giving any thought. Presenting the six children at the press meet, Krishnasamy urged the state government to constitute a high-level inquiry committee to probe the issue and punish the police officials who "indulged in anti-Dalit activities".
Refuting the charges against them, the Dalit students claimed that they were, in fact, at the receiving end. One of the students alleged that the other group picked up a quarrel with them before the start of classes and all returned to classes some time later.
"They themselves inflicted injuries on their hands with broken pieces of glasses," he alleged. Krishnasamy alleged that two teachers in the school were also hand in glove with the police and the complainant, father of one of the victims. The six Dalit students studying in a Panchayat school under M Kallupatti police limits were booked for allegedly assaulting six other students and outraging the modesty of some of them on August 5.
A complaint was lodged two days after the incident by the parents of the victims, following which a case was registered under the POCSO Act and IPC sections 341 (wrongful restraint) and 324 (voluntarily causing hurt with dangerous weapons) against the minor boys.