Dharmapuri: Doctors at the Government Hospital (GH) in Dharmapuri on Friday conducted a postmortem on Ilavarasan, the Dalit youth who was found dead near a railway track behind the Government Arts College the previous day, even as hundreds of Dalit villagers from the vicinity of Nayakankottai gathered at the GH, and demanded a detailed probe, claiming that the boy was murdered.
The protesters demanded that two physicians of their choice be present during the autopsy and that the entire process be videographed. Doctors, however, completed the procedure after allegedly receiving consent from the victim’s family members.
As the news of this spread, the villagers staged a sit-in protest and refused to clear the premises until a second postmortem was done in the presence of forensic experts of their choice.
The area was cleared late on Friday after the police assured the angry groups that they would abide by the directive of the Madras high court and take appropriate action.
Several police battalions were deployed across the district, especially in villages prone to violence, and the ones that were affected by the Ilavarasan-Divya marriage including Natham Colony, Anna Nagar and Sellankottai, Divya’s native place.
An uneasy calm prevailed outside the girl’s home which had remained locked for the past month, the family having left. A team of police personnel guarded the home and the rest of the village to prevent escalation of violence.
Dharmapuri SP Asra Garg said that the railway police would be continuing with the investigation into the murder. “We will take up the investigation when we are asked to by the higher officials. As of now, we are only taking care of the law and order situation,” he said.
As per the earilier court’s directive, the video-recording of the autopsy is expected to be handed over to Ilavarasan’s family on Friday or Saturday.
Further, police said that the investigation would continue only after the postmortem results arrived and if the youth’s family was satisfied.
HC orders Ilavarasan body be kept till July 9
Chennai: The Madras high court on Friday directed the Tamil Nadu government to put off the cremation of Ilavarasan, until Tuesday to allow further investigation into his death.
A division bench comprising Justice V. Dhanapalan and Justice C.T. Selvam also directed the government to hand over a copy of the postmortem report along with the videograph of the procedure to the boy’s father, Elango.
A senior advocate, Sankarasubbu had earlier urged the court to allow a doctor of Ilavarasan’s parents’ choice to be present during the postmortem Friday morning. In response, public prosecutor Shanmugavelayutham told the judges that the procedure had been completed by 11am by a team led by Dr. Dhudeer.
Sankarasubbu , however, claimed he had informed the district Superintendent of Police that the matter was coming up in court and had been assured the postmortem would be conducted only after 11.30am.
Having heard both sides, the court directed the authorities not to dispose of the youth’s body till Tuesday. Earlier in the day, a bench comprising Justices R. Banumathi and T.S. Sivagnanam adjourned the hearing of a batch of PILs on the anti-Dalit violence and arson the state has seen of late, to July 19.
Revoke Sec. 144, say Ilavarasan kin
Dalit villagers protest near the mortuary of the General Hospital in Dharmapuri where the autopsy of Dalit boy Ilavarasan was conducted on Friday. (DC)
Dharmapuri: The parents of Ilavarasan, the Dalit boy whose death is being probed, have asked for a revocation of Sec 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, so that they can conduct a funeral procession for the youth, who was a victim of caste violence.
They and members of various Dalit organisations and Harur MLA Dilibabu, on Friday presented a charter of demands to district collector R. Lilly and SP Asra Garg at the collectorate.
The family members said that they would decide on whether or not to ask for a second post mortem after viewing the video footage of the one done on Friday.
The Dalit groups also demanded that the investigation into the ‘suspicious death’ which is under the jurisdiction of the railway police be transferred to a more competent authority to ensure a fair probe.
“We will soon approach the courts, pressing for a CBI enquiry into the alleged murder,” the family’s advocate Rajinikath said. They have also sought action against police officials who had failed to provide protection to Ilavarasan and Divya whose lives were allegedly under threat.