In a video that is making rounds on social media, a 46-year-old man's body is shown being lowered from a 20-feet high bridge as upper-caste Hindus in Tamil Nadu’s Vaniyambadi, did not allow the funeral processions to pass through their land.
According to a Hindustan Times report, the man was identified as a Dalit named N Kuppam.
He died on Saturday and his body had to be taken to an old funeral ground at Vaniyambadi in Vellore district, which passed through agricultural lands of some upper caste locals who denied access to pass through, as reported by India Today.
In the video, a group of Dalits are seen lowering the body from the bridge as another group is seen standing near the cremation ground beside the bridge.
The garlands fall off the dead body as the stretcher is lowered. No dignity in death for Kuppan, a Dalit man from Vellore. His body cannot be taken on the road to the crematorium other dominant castes use. Details here- https://t.co/kg9qIXcG1O pic.twitter.com/7SpJaY5AOA
— Dhanya Rajendran (@dhanyarajendran) August 22, 2019
Kuppan's 21-year-old nephew, Vijay told the News Minute, "For over 20 years now, we have had trouble accessing the grounds we traditionally used as a crematorium. Members of the dominant caste own the land now and don't let us enter the area with corpses. Caste Hindus have a separate ground that we can't use for cremations. Before the bridge came into existence 15 years ago, we used to just leave the body in the water. But now we lower it down the bridge to cremate it. We have appealed to various district authorities for years now to help us but to no avail."
Kuppan is survived by his wife Kasthuri, 49, and two children.
Although the Dalit from the village said that they did not face any direct threats from other caste groups, they blamed administration for it.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Aug 22, 2019 13:48:04 IST