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TN: School principal booked for forcing Dalit student to pick stone from toilet.

Tamil Nadu: School principal booked for forcing Dalit student to pick stone from toilet.

A complaint has been lodged against the principal of a government school in Tirunelveli district, Tamil Nadu, following allegations that the official, identified as Ponrani from the Saiva Vellalar (Forward Caste) community, compelled an eight-year-old Dalit student to pick up a stone from a toilet on the school premises. Disturbingly, it is reported that the principal justified this demeaning task by asserting that it was a task traditionally associated with the student’s Dalit community.

The victimised student, hailing from the Arunthathiyar community and classified as Scheduled Caste, brought the incident to the attention of their parents, prompting the mother to file a formal complaint against Ponrani on December 9. The incident itself occurred on December 6, as confirmed by Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Anantha Raj M, who is currently overseeing the investigation.

To address this egregious act, an FIR was promptly registered on the same day the complaint was filed. The charges include the invocation of Section 31(r) of the Prevention of Atrocities Against Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes Act, underscoring the gravity of the alleged offense. Additionally, Section 75 of the Juvenile Justice Act has been invoked, emphasising the need to safeguard the rights and well-being of the young victim.

Despite the serious nature of the accusations and the legal actions taken, the principal, Ponrani, remains at large as of now. Preliminary investigations are actively underway.

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