State Power Minister and Congress leader Nitin Raut has demanded strict action against the vice-president of a village panchayat in Tamil Nadu for allegedly forcing a Dalit woman panchayat president to sit on the floor during a meeting.
In a letter to TN Governor Banwarilal Purohit on Wednesday, Raut – who is also the president of AICC scheduled castes department – has demanded stern action against the vice-president of the panchayat, cancellation of the membership of the panchayat members and immediate legal action against the accused.
“I was shocked to know from a media report that Shrimati Rajeshwari S, an elected president of Therku Thitthai panchayat in Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu, was forced to sit on the floor during a meeting that she was presiding when the upper caste panchayat members and vice-president Mohan Rajan were sitting in chairs,” he wrote. Raut said he has learnt that the vice-president didn’t allow her to preside over the meeting as she belonged to a Scheduled Caste. Rajan even didn’t let Rajeswari S hoist the National Flag since she was elected from a reserved seat last year, he said in the letter.
The matter had come to light when the video of the incident went viral on social media.
The Congress leader requested the Governor to ensure strict implementation of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and launch campaigns to end discrimination against Dalits and women.
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