Denied access to crematorium, Dalits 'airdrop' dead body from 20-foot-high bridge
Chennai, Aug 22: In a disturbing video which has gone viral on various social media shows Dalit villagers of Narayanapuram near Vanniyambadi town in Tamil Nadu dropping a person's body from a 20-foot-high bridge.
The incident is not new, as Dalits have been forced to continue this practice for the last four years. However, in this case since they were denied access to their crematorium on the banks of the Palar river allegedly by upper-caste Hindus.
According to a report, published in the Times of India, the dead body belongs to Kuppan of Narayanapuram Dalit Colony, who died in a road accident on last Friday.
The autopsy was conducted, after which the body was handed over to the family on last Saturday.
The report said that after the Arasalanthapuram-Narayanapuram bridge across the river was constructed, Dalits alleged that members of other caste have encroached upon the path leading to the river and have restricted them to carry their dead through their farmlands.
A local villager and nephew of Kuppan said, as the daily quotes, "On Saturday, when we tried to take my uncle's body through the land strips, watchmen guarding it refused us entry. Fearing clash, villagers used a cradle to drop the body from the bridge and cremated it."
Stating the reason for following this practice, another Dalit Krishnan said that due to lack of space in village crematorium, the villagers have been cremating the dead on the river banks since last few years.
Though there has not been any direct caste discrimination, Dalits have accused the district administration and sought their intervention to remove the encroachments.
Meanwhile, Vellore collector A Shanmuga Sundram stated that appropriate action would be taken, as a revenue team was probing the issue.