End atrocities on SCs in TN: Union Minister Ramdas Athawale

Chennai: Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale on Saturday appealed to the Tamil Nadu government to end the atrocities on Scheduled Caste members in the state and also be supportive of the Centre’s initiatives on the economic and social welfare front for the disadvantaged and marginalised sections.

Expressing concern over the increasing atrocities on the SC members in Tamil Nadu, especially in the wake of water contamination in the Vengaivayal village in Pudukottai district and staunch opposition to Dalits’ entry to a temple in Melpathi village in Villupuram, the Union Minister said Chief Minister M K Stalin should personally intervene and resolve the issues amicably.

The state government should take steps to protect the SCs and at the same time punish the offenders, he said.

“I appeal to Stalinji to organise a meeting with all the communities, especially those carrying out atrocities on the Dalits in Pudukottai and Villupuram districts and ensure the SC community live in peace and are protected,” Athawale told reporters here.

His Ministry was supportive of even the upper caste members such as the Vanniyars and Nadars, he said and stressed the need to strive for a “casteless” society.

“Our Ministry extends financial support to couples opting for inter-caste marriages and going by the rise in such numbers in the country, I feel India would be able to rid the caste system soon,” Athawale said.

Also, he accused the DMK government of not being supportive of the Centre’s initiatives to the SC members. “We are considering Tamil Nadu as one among the states in India and the government of India is providing economic and social empowerment programmes,” Athawale said and claimed that his Ministry would immediately clear any proposals that are sent from Tamil Nadu.