Chennai-A case has been filed against the principal of a government school in Tamil Nadu's Tirunelveli district for allegedly forcing an eight-year-old Dalit student to pick up stone from the toilet. The family claims that the principal made caste-based remarks, saying, "People of your caste do the same thing."
When the student shared the incident with his mother, the family, offended by the caste-based comments, decided to file an FIR. Tirunelveli (Rural) Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Ananth Raj M, who is overseeing the case, stated, "The incident occurred on December 6. The child reported it to his parents, and the mother filed a written complaint against Ponrani on December 9."
Manur police in Tamil Nadu's Tirunelveli district have registered a case against Ponrani (56), the principal of a panchayat union primary school. According to the complaint filed by the family, a stone was stuck inside the school toilet, causing it to clog. Upon learning about the issue, Principal Ponrani allegedly instructed the student to remove the stone. When the student objected, the principal reportedly justified his directive by making derogatory remarks about the student's community.
The student informed his parents about the incident, prompting them to question the principal. In response, Ponrani claimed that he asked the student to do it because the student had dropped the stone in the toilet. Manoor police registered a case against Ponrani on December 9 under sections of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act.
This incident adds to a series of caste-related cases in Tamil Nadu. In November, six individuals from the Maravar community (Other Backward Class) were arrested for assaulting, stripping, and urinating on two Dalit youths near the Thamirabarani river. The assailants also stole the Dalit youths' cell phones and silver jewelry.
In the same month, a 17-year-old was arrested for throwing a homemade bomb at a computer center in Nanguneri owned by Jaya TV journalist Vanamalai, who had extensively covered a caste crime in the area in October.
In October, a 17-year-old Nadar boy (Other Backward Class) stalked and killed an 18-year-old Dalit woman from the Devendra Kula Vellalar community in Tirunelveli town.
In August, two Dalit siblings, aged 17 and 14, were brutally attacked with a sickle in their own home.
In July of the same year, a 19-year-old Dalit youth was stabbed to death by a Nadar man in Appuvilai village in a suspected case of honor killing.
Story Translated by Geetha Sunil Pillai