Mumbai, Oct 15 (PTI) Maharashtra minister and Congress leader Nitin Raut has demanded stern action against the vice- president of a village panchayat in Tamil Nadu for allegedly forcing a Dalit woman panchayat president to sit on the floor during a meeting.
Raut, who is also the AICC SCdepartment chairman, has written a letter to Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit demanding stern action against the accused.
The Congress leader said he was angered and pained by the humiliating treatment meted out to a democratically elected Dalit woman panchayat president in the southern state.
The incident came to light after a photograph of S Rajeswari, president of the Therku Thittai panchayat in Cuddalore district, sitting on the floor at a meeting and others on chairs, went viral on social media last week, causing an outrage.
Raut said the woman was forced to sit on the floor by village panchayatvice-president Mohan Rajan during a meeting which she was presiding.
In the letter, dated October 14, he stressed on the need of immediately cancelling membership of other panchayat members and taking legal action against the main accused.
The Congress leader said he has learnt that the vice- president didn't allow her to preside over the meeting as she belonged to a Scheduled Caste.
Rajan even didn't let Rajeswari hoist the national flag since she was elected as president from a reserved seat last year, Raut said in the letter.
The Congress leader requested the governor to ensure strict implementation of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act to prevent such events and also launch awareness campaigns to end discrimination against Dalits and women. PTI MR RSY RSY