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Thousands of Dalits to Convert to Islam Citing Govt Inaction, Discrimination in TN Wall Collapse Case

The decision was taken by the outfit Tamil Puligal at its state-level meeting on Sunday. The reason cited was the injustice meted out to the Dalits at Nadur where 17 people were killed on December 2 in the wall collapse.

News18.com

Updated:December 26, 2019, 8:21 AM IST
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Thousands of Dalits to Convert to Islam Citing Govt Inaction, Discrimination in TN Wall Collapse Case
Tamil Nadu CM Edapaddi K Palanisami and other ministers at the site of the wall collapse in Nadur village on Tuesday. (PTI)

New Delhi: Thousands of Dalits in Tamil Nadu's Mettupalayam municipality in Coimbatore district have claimed they will convert to Islam over the alleged ill-treatment meted out to them in the mostly Hindu-dominated region, The Hindu reported on Tuesday.

The decision was taken by the outfit Tamil Puligal at its state-level meeting on Sunday. The reason cited was the injustice meted out to the Dalits at Nadur where 17 people were killed on December 2 in a wall collapse incident.

A report in The New Indian Express put the figure of those converting to Islam at 3,000. The Dalits have declared they will convert on January 5.

A portion of the over 15-foot high compound wall, damp due to heavy rains that lashed the area for several days, had crashed on the adjoining four tiled-roof houses in Nadur village, over 50 km from Chennai, in the early hours of December 2. Seventeen Dalits, including 10 women and two children, were killed.

The police arrested the building's owner who had built the wall to separate his residence from that of the Dalits, according to the residents of the area. The outfit's decision came after the accused was released on bail.

The members reportedly expressed their disappointed that the police had failed to book the owner, Sivasumbramanian, under provisions of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Ilavenil, the outfit's general secretary, was quoted as saying, "The person responsible for the tragedy was released on bail within 20 days of his arrest. But Nagai Thiruvalluvan (the outfit's president) who protested in a democratic way seeking justice has been detained in Coimbatore prison. It exhibits the inequality in the religion."

Residents of the houses had earlier claimed that the height of the wall was raised to 20 feet despite protests from inhabitants living on its other side. The residents had alleged that the "caste wall" was built to ensure that the Dalit community is separated from the dominant caste members.

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