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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

Tamil Nadu Dalit man’s death: Kin seek 2nd autopsy

Agencies  Chennai, July 06, 2013
First Published: 12:09 IST(6/7/2013) | Last Updated: 19:18 IST(6/7/2013)

The family of a young Dalit man, whose body was found by a railway track in Tamil Nadu’s Dharmapuri town on Thursday, has demanded a second post-mortem alleging foul play, according to media reports.

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The post-mortem report of 20-year-old Ilavarasan states that he died due to a head injury and there were no other big marks on the body. It also says he died 12 to 24 hours prior to the autopsy.

Ilavarasan’s parents have demanded a proper inquiry, saying their son would not have committed suicide, says a media report.

This, after the court had asked the family to wait for the post-mortem report and if they were still not convinced, they could seek another autopsy.

The court had also sought for the body to be preserved and postponed the case hearing till the autopsy reports were out.

Ilavarasan, whose marriage to a higher caste Hindu woman, Divya, triggered anti-Dalit violence in three villages of Dharmapuri district in November 2012, was found dead along a railway track in that town on Thursday, a day after she said she would never go back to him and would stay with her mother.

The railway police said the body was found along a track behind the Government Arts College.

News of the man’s death led to tension in Dalit areas in Naickenkottai, with many of them thronging the Government Medical College Hospital, where the body was taken.

Dharmapuri superintendent of police Asra Garg said the raliway police were conducting an inquiry and that it was too early to say if there was any foul play.

Police pickets were posted in sensitive areas in Naickenkottai. Prohibitory orders were clamped in Dharmapuri, added the police.

Divya had said on Wednesday after appearing for a hearing in Madras high court that she had been under tremendous pressure all along and was unable to forget her father, who committed suicide after her marriage.

She also said she no longer wanted to live with her husband, but her mother.

A divisional bench of justices M Jayachandran and M Sunderesh on Friday ordered that adequate protection be given to Divya’s family.

A petition was filed by S Jimraj Milton, Chennai branch secretary of Human Rights Protection Centre, on Friday seeking a direction to the state government to hand over the probe into the Ilavarasan’s death to the Central Bureau of Investigation and to give sufficient protection to her family.

The bench also suggested the counsel to ascertain whether Divya was willing to undergo counselling at Chennai.

Vaigai, counsel for Milton, submitted that from 2010 as many as 1,789 honour killings had taken place.

The bench ordered that a respectable officer be deputed to ascertain the measures to be taken to provide sufficient security to the girl and her family members and for counselling for her, if necessary.

The state government should file a report in this regard on Monday, the bench said, directing the director general of police (DGP) to provide protection to Divya and her family, if not already provided.

The police officer appointed by the DGP for providing protection should be accompanied by psychiatrist while going to meet Divya.

The woman’s mother had filed a habeas corpus petition to produce her before the court and set her at liberty.

On July 1, Divya had told the court she would go with her mother “for the time being”.

She also said she had no problems in the house of her husband or with her mother-in-law, but was haunted by incidents of her father’s death. Divya’s mother too had opposed the marriage on October 14.

Three villages of Dharmapuri district — Natham, Kondamapatty and Annanagar — witnessed violence and 296 huts belonging to Dalits were torched on November 7 last year after the woman’s father committed suicide.

Several writ petitions were filed and the court ordered a probe into rehabilitation measures taken in Dalit colonies under the committee headed by IAS officer Vaski, which submitted a 5,000-page report to the high court.


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