Nanguneri case: VCK leader urges TN govt to form separate intelligence unit to prevent caste, religion-based crimesVCK leader Thol Thirumavalavan with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin.
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The VCK leader, Thol Thirumavalavan said, “The caste-pride of the people is paving way for crimes in the state and parents should not raise their children with such a mindset.”

Chidambaram MP and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) leader Thol Thirumavalavan Tuesday urged the Tamil Nadu government to form a separate intelligence unit to prevent crimes related to caste and religion.

Thirumavalavan was talking to the media at the Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital after visiting a 17-year-old boy and his 14-year-old sister, who hail from a scheduled caste community and were attacked by a group of students of dominant castes with sickles. The incident happened near Nanguneri in Tirunelveli district on August 9.

Thirumavalavan said, “The caste-pride of the people is paving way for crimes in the state and parents should not raise their children with such a mindset.”

Following the incident, Chief Minister M K Stalin constituted a one-man committee led by Justice K Chandru to provide constructive guidance on measures that are needed to be implemented to eliminate caste and racial differences among students.

Commenting on the above measure, Thirumavalavan said the government should carry out a detailed analysis of the communal and caste-based issues happening across educational institutions. He added that a separate Intelligence unit should be formed to tackle such cases.

The VCK leader said a team of three doctors from the Stanley Medical College Hospital had reached Tirunelveli to perform a surgery on the 17-year-old victim who sustained 21 cuts on his body. “He sustained severe injuries on his right-leg, right-hand and right shoulder. Taking turns, three students attacked him with a sickle,” Thirumavalavan said.

The leader added that the younger sister of the victim will be discharged soon as she has recovered from her injuries while her brother will remain in the ICU for a few more days.

Meanwhile, condemning the incident and other caste-related crimes, the VCK is all set to stage a demonstration on August 18 at Chennai and on August 20 at Melapalayam in Tirunelveli.

Thirumalavan took to X (formerly Twitter) to share the images of his visit to the hospital and noted that he has provided Rs 25,000 as aid for further treatment of the victim.

What happened on August 9

According to the police, the boy’s mother, a daily-wage labourer, had complained to the school headmaster that a group of boys, all representing the upper castes, were harassing him. He was reportedly being asked to buy cigarettes for them and carry their books.

Following the complaint, on August 9, the headmaster issued stern warning to the erring students. However, despite the warning, the erring students intercepted the boy later that day and warned him of dire consequences.

Later in the night, three of the students barged into the victims’ house and attacked the boy. When his sister tried to intervene, they allegedly attacked her too. Before the neighbours could reach the spot hearing the screams of the minors, the accused fled the spot.

The victims were rushed to the nearest government hospital for treatment. The family staged a protest in front of the hospital and demanded the police to initiate strict action against the perpetrators who committed the act.

Meanwhile, a 59-year-old man, a relative of the victim, died during the protest. The government later provided a relief of Rs 3 lakh to the kin of the deceased.

Backlash and government action

The issue sparked wide outrage across Tamil Nadu. Activists and film personalities also condemned the incident while the Opposition parties questioned the state of law and order.

Based on the directions of Chief Minister Stalin, minister Thangam Thennarasu, district collector K P Karthikeyan and officials visited the victim at the hospital and offered all help possible from the government’s side.

The Nanguneri police booked six people, all aged between 16 and 17 years, under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and several other sections of the IPC, including 294 (b) (sings, recites, or utters any obscene song ballad or words, in or near public place) 307 (attempt to commit murder), 352 (assault or criminal force otherwise than on grave provocation), 506 (2) (criminal intimidation) among others. The accused were detained and sent to the Juvenile Justice Board.

Speaking to, A Kathir, founder of Madurai-based NGO Evidence, said the accused students did not show any remorse for committing the crime.

“I happened to visit the police station where the students were initially put up. I was shocked to see the conduct of these students. Having committed such a brutal act, I saw the boys running around the police station which is situated in an area populated by the dominant castes,” he said.

Kathir added, “The victim is a soft-natured boy who is good in academics. Two of the three accused students had already been warned twice by the school administration for indulging in similar acts against other students. They were also warned previously for passing comments against teachers, especially female teachers.”

Kathir added that the students have been booked under the JJ (Care and Protection of Children) Act, however, they will take measures to ensure that they are sent for a trial at the court for SC/ST offences.

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