Vellore: Shaken by a sense of shame and embarrassment after a video went viral showing a group of Dalits lowering by ropes the dead body of a relative from a bridge at Narayanapuram village in Vellore district, the government swung into action and got the local revenue officials rush to the place to remedy the social stigma.
"We have allotted half acre of poromboke (government) land as burial and cremation ground for the Dalit community", said Tirupattur sub-collector Priyanka Balasubramanian. Now the Dalits could bury their dead or cremate the bodies on this piece of land close to the riverbed, where they have been conducting those last rites all these years.
The sub-collector said an inquiry held now with the Dalit community revealed that on Saturday (Aug 17), the day of the video incident, revealed the Dalits had no issue with the upper caste landowners who were accused of blocking the path to the riverbed.
However, the Dalits said the upper caste people around the place did not allow them to take their dead through their land and there had been problems. In fact, with the skirmishes growing, the Dalits were forced to leave their bodies in the river water before the bridge was built and they could reach closer to the riverbed.
The video that went viral on Wednesday showed a group of Dalits carrying on a flowered stretcher the body of a relative and lowering it by ropes down the 20-foot high bridge for another group of their men standing below to receive it carefully. Thereafter, the men carried the body for cremation at the riverbed a small distance away....