August 10, 2016
Thanjavur: A two-member team from the state unit of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, comprising its research officer Chandraprabha and investigation officer Iniyan, today visited Saliyamangalam village at Papanasam taluk in Thanjavur district and conducted inquiry into the incident of alleged rape and murder of a Dalit girl.
Twenty-year-old Kalaiselvi was under the care of her maternal aunt Pappammal after the demise of her mother. She went out on July 31 and did not return. The next day her body was found in the forest area. It was found that she was murdered after being sexually assaulted. Subsequently, police registered a case, conducted investigation and arrested two persons – Raja and Kumar – of the same village.
Police claimed that Kalaiselvi had an affair with Raja and they used to meet frequently in the forest area and have physical relationship. On the day of incident, they met in the forest area and had relationship. Then, Raja forced her to have physical relationship with his friend Kumar also. As she refused, both Raja and Kumar assaulted her and murdered by strangulating her with her duppatta.
Some Dalit rights organizations alleged that Kalaiselvi was murdered after being gang raped. They also alleged that more than two persons were involved in the murder. The members petitioned the National Commission for SCs/STs.
Based on their petitions and media reports, the commission’s two member team today visited Saliyamangalam and conducted inquiry. The team also heard the views of the DSP of Papanasam sub division, and Pappammal and recorded their statements. The team also visited and inspected the crime spot.
Later, talking to media persons, Chandraprabha said the team would submit its report to the commission’s head office in New Delhi. Based on its report, the commission’s chairperson would decide and take further action.
She claimed that the incident took place when Kalaiselvi went to the forest area to attend nature’s call as there was no toilet facility in her house. After this incident, the district administration swung into action and had two toilets constructed there now.
She said that police have registered a case invoking the provisions of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. A relief of Rs 4.12 lakh has now been disbursed to the victim’s family as per the amendments made in the act.