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Jul 06, 2013 at 10:00am IST

TN Dalit boy's death: Family alleges foul play, seeks second autopsy

Chennai: The death of a Dalit boy, Ilavarasan, has triggered protests and violence in the Dharmapuri district of Tamil Nadu. The post-mortem report of the the 20-year-old is out and it states that he died due to a head injury.

The report also says that there are no other big marks on his body. The report also says that Ilavarasan died 12 to 24 hours prior to the autopsy.

ALSO SEE Chennai: Dalit boy, who married a higher caste girl, found dead

His family has sought a second post-mortem alleging foul play. The parents of the boy have demanded a proper inquiry, saying their son would not have committed suicide. This after the court had asked the family to wait for the post-mortem report and if they were still not convinced, they could seek another autopsy.

The court has also asked for the boy's body to be preserved. The court had postponed the case hearing till the autopsy reports are out.

Ilavarasan, whose marriage to a higher caste girl triggered anti-Dalit violence in three villages of Dharmapuri district in November in 2012, was found dead along a railway track in that town on Thursday, a day after she said she would never go back to him and would stay with her mother.

The Railway police said his body was found along a track behind the government arts college in Dharmapuri. News of the boy's death led to a tense situation in Dalit areas in Naickenkottai, with many of them thronging the Government Medical College hospital, where his body was taken.

Dharmapuri Superintendent of Police Asra Garg said Raliway police are conducting an inquiry and that it was too early to say if there any foul play. Police pickets have been posted in sensitive areas in Naickenkottai.

The girl Divya had said on Wednesday after appearing for a hearing in Madras High Court that she had been under tremendous pressure all along and was unable to forget her father who committed suicide after her marriage. She also said she no longer wanted to live with her husband, but her mother.

The bench comprising Justices M Jayachandran and M Sunderesh ordered on Friday that adequete protection be given to her family. A petition was filed by S Jimraj Milton, Chennai Branch Secretary of Human Rights Protection Centre, on Friday seeking a direction to the state government to hand over to CBI the investigation into the death and to give sufficient protection to the family of Divya. Vaigai, counsel for Milton, submitted that from 2010 as many as 1789 honour killings have taken place and the same should not be continued.

Divya's mother had filed a Habeas Corpus Petition to produce her before the Court and set her at liberty.

On July 1, Divya had told the Court she would go with her mother "for the time being". She also said she had no problems in the house of her husband or with her mother-in-law, but was haunted by incidents of her father's death, who committed suicide after her marriage with Ilavarasan of Natham village. Divya's mother too had opposed the marriage on October 14.

Three villages of Dharmapuri district - Natham, Kondamapatty and Annanagar - witnessed violence and about 296 huts belonging to Dalits were torched on November 7 after the girl's father committed suicide.

Several writ petitions were filed and the Court ordered a probe into rehabilitation measures taken in Dalit colonies under the committee headed by IAS officer Vaski, which submitted a 5000-page report to the High Court. Prohibitory orders have been clamped in Dharmapuri in view of the tense situation prevailing there after the death of Ilavarasan, police said.

(With additional information from PTI)

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