(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
September 20, 2009
UTHAPURAM a tiny village in Usilampatti area near Madurai, had drawn the attention of the media in the entire country when the Communist Party of India (Marxist) took up the issue of a wall of caste oppression erected there preventing the dalits from accessing common village amenities situated in the midst of caste Hindu households. When as part of this struggle, Prakash Karat planned a visit to that village, the state administration swiftly moved to demolish a part of that wall.
Polit Bureau member and MP, Brinda Karat, was in
village also was preparing to give Brinda a rousing reception and the
residents there had also obtained police permission for installing a
amplifier on September 12, the day the visit was scheduled. But, the
next morning Brinda accompanied by the CPI(M) Madurai Rural district
and the state leaders of the AIDWA left the Circuit House in
A team of police led by Tirumangalam deputy superintendent of police, M Vijayaregunathan intercepted the vehicles on the Tirupparankundram highway.
The police told Brinda Karat that she was not permitted to go to Uthapuram following a law and order problem. After a protest staged by the comrades who accompanied her, the police said that Brinda, along with the others, was being arrested. They were taken in a police van to the Tirupparankundram police station at around 7.30 am and detained them for nearly two hours.
The police had filed a first information report charging them under Sections 147, 148, 341, 188 of IPC and Section 30 (2) of the Police Act. But later, the deputy inspector-general of police K Balasubramanian claimed that she was not arrested. The CPI(M) leader, however, maintained that the police had registered a case against her and ten others, including state general secretary of the All India Democratic Women�s Association, U Vasuki. Vasuki said that the cases were registered under several sections of the Indian Penal Code, including unlawful assembly. The DIG said the detention was preventive in nature. After the police denied permission for the meeting, Brinda said she would make a private visit to the residence of Ponniah, a dalit in Uthapuram. After protracted discussions, the CPI (M) members clarified that it was a private visit and Brinda would not address any public meeting they were allowed to proceed with police security after.
At Uthapuram the entire dalit families were on the streets to accord a rousing reception to Brinda Karat. In her informal interaction with the dalits of the village, Brinda Karat said that CPI(M) would continue to support their cause and fight for their rights and get due compensation for the victims of discrimination.
Later, she told reporters that even after an hour�s detention, the police were unable to tell her the sections under which she had been arrested and the reasons for it. �The police would have let me go to Uthapuram if I were to visit the criminals over there. Since I was going to visit the victims of untouchability, I was denied permission.�
Charging the state government with preventing her from going to Uthapuram, she said the government was not taking enough measures to end the decades old discrimination resulting in segregating dalits and others in the village. �Instead of upholding the law, it wants to suppress the issue of civil rights. It has gone to the absurd extent of detaining us instead of those who were creating the law and order problem,� she said.
state secretary of the CPI(M),