The incident of human excreta in a drinking water tank supplying a Dalit colony in Tamil Nadu’s Pudukottai district in December 2022 had hit headlines, and local police began a probe, which was handed over to the CB-CID after complaints of tardy action. Residents are now demanding a CBI prove over state police’s failure to make a breakthrough.
Talking to IANS, local resident Jagannathan said: “The CB-CID has been conducting investigation and interrogating and questioning many people. We have a feeling that the case is not moving on the right track and some of our Dalit brethren have been questioned by the police repeatedly and we feel that the case is recoiling against us.”
Meanwhile, P. Thirumugam of Pudukottai moved a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court pleading for a CBI inquiry into the case.
The court on Friday directed the Tamil Nadu government to provide an action-taken report on the PIL filed by Thirumugam.
A division bench of Justices R. Subramanian and L. Victoria Gouri directed the Additional Advocate General to provide a report on the actions taken by the government in this matter and will hear the matter further on March 30.
The court asking for an action taken report from the state government is considered a major victory for those who have been requesting for a CBI inquiry into the case.
Thirumugam, while talking to media persons, said: “There are more than 100 Dalit families in Vengaivayal and the overhead water tank has a capacity of 10,000 litres. The presence of human feces in the water tank is an insult to the Dalit people of the area who have been subjected as second-class citizens in the area by the upper caste people including not allowing entry to the local Ayyanar temple.”
He said that the CB-CID has been investigating the case for the past two months and as per Rule 7 of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Rules 1995, the investigation should have been completed within 30 days and the officer would have given a report.
This has not been followed and a request has been made to transfer the case to the CBI. The Dalit parties of the area including the VCK and the Ambedkar movement have also been demanding a CBI inquiry into the matter.