Coimbatore, Dec 21: Fifty women belonging to a Scheduled Caste community in the district here today threatened to commit suicide en masse in protest against what they alleged was the torture of the members of the community by police on the pretext of pursuing theft cases.
The women of the 'Koravar' community also submitted a memorandum at the District Collectorate here highlighting their plight and said they would all end their lives if no action was taken on their complaint.
Drama unfolded during the protest as an elderly woman even tried to consume a suspected poisonous substance but was prevented from doing so by a policeman.
The elderly woman, Ayyamma, led the protesting women of Paramedu in Angalakurichi near Pollachi who alleged that for every theft or crime in the area, police would come to their colony and target them.
It was alleged that, in the name of pursuing inquiries, police come and take away gold and other valuables belonging to the womenfolk of the colony, where 25 families have been living for the last 100 years.
Ayyamma further told reporters that her son, identified as one Marimuthu, was taken for questioning three days ago but has not returned yet.
She sought the intervention of the District Collector to put an end to such "torture and humiliation". As she was speaking at the protest, Ayyamma took out some poisonous powder and tried to consume it.
However, a policeman snatched it from her and foiled her attempt.
When contacted, a police official said that the allegations levelled by the women would be inquired into and anybody found guilty would be punished.