Tirupur Rural Police are on the look out for 13 persons against whom they have registered a case under the Prevention of Atrocities Act on charges of opposing a Dalit woman from cooking food for students at the Thirumalaikavundanpalayam Government Higher Secondary School.

According to sources, the police had registered the case against over 80 people and were on the look out for 13, all of whom had not only opposed the cook Pappal (42), but also prevented her from discharging duties.

The woman had joined duty on July 16 and her presence as a cook turned into a problem the next day when caste Hindus opposed her cooking food. The issue snowballed when she returned the next day, July 18, to cook noon meal at the school’s kitchen.

The sources said that on July 20 when the woman started cooking, 29 of the 75 students were absent. Only 46 students took the food she had cooked.

Meanwhile, the district secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) S. Muthukannan submitted a petition to the district administration seeking stringent action against those who opposed Pappal. He alleged that the caste Hindus had abused the woman by her caste, locked the school and prevented the woman and teachers from performing their duties. The police had registered a case but as per the Act, the Police should arrest them immediately and also provide security for the Dalit residents of Thirumalai kavundanpalayam.

The CPI(M) leader also sought action against the school teachers for encouraging two-tumbler system among students – one tumbler for Dalit and another for non-Dalit students for drinking water and also provide compensation for the cook, Pappal, in accordance with the law. Meanwhile, the Tirupur Rural Police have beefed up security in the area.

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