Caste Discrimination Alleged at Kerala Flood Relief Camp, Probe Ordered

ALAPPUZHA:

Owing to complaints of caste discrimination coming in from 23 Dalit families in a flood relief camp in Pallipad grama panchayat in Kerala; the District Collector, S Suhas has ordered a probe.

 

Speaking to the media; the District Collector said that local authorities and the police chief have been notified of the need for a thorough probe into the incident and subsequent reports of investigations made in the matter.

 

23 Dalit Families Filled Complaints

 

23 Dalit families consisting of up to 56 members under the umbrella of the All Kerala Pulayar Mahasabha have filed complaints with the state CM, Pinarayi Vijayan and according to the District Collector; these Dalit families were insulted and humiliated by members of the Christian community on premise at the relief camp in Anjilimoodu L.P. School.

 

 

Christian Families did not wish to share space and food with Dalit Families

 

According to Tinu Vijayan, a Dalit living in the same camp; 27 Christian families relocated to another camp as they did not wish to share space and food with the Dalits.

 

“We have left our homes and came to the relief camp on July 18 following flood water of Achankovil river inundated our houses. The camp consisted of 23 Dalit families and 28 Christian families. However, the members of Christian families asked us to give their share of food materials and they would cook the food themselves. However, we told them we could cook the food together and share the space of the camp. However, they were not ready to listen to our words. But we told them that it was not fair to separate the food materials which was given to one camp. Following this, they quarreled with us. Some of them lodged complaint with the police against us alleging that we misbehaved with the girls of their community,” he said.

 

“Following the request of Christian community members, the village officer and our ward member arranged another camp for them on Saturday and they moved from our camp. It is a big humiliation for us and it is very painful to all the Dalit members. We are also humans. So we have registered protest against the decision, ” he said. However, a member of Christian community on condition of anonymity, said that they have moved to another camp following some members of the school camp took the videos of our women and girls. `”We questioned it and it ended in quarrel. Following it, we decided to move to another camp,” Tinu Vijayan said.

 

According to some members of the Christian community; problems arose, quarrels happened and relocation was undertaken when members of the opposing group were caught taking videos and pictures of Christian girls at the camp.

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