Tamil Nadu: Three booked for denying haircut, using caste slurs against Dalit man

Poovarasan, who belongs to the Viduthalai Siruthaigal Katchi community, is heard claiming in the video that the shop owner and other men are trying to gang up against him to create trouble.

A barber and the owner of a saloon in Tamil Nadu’s Salem district were booked for allegedly refusing to give a Dalit man a haircut and using casteist slurs against him. The complainant, 26-year-old Poovarasan, recorded the entire incident on video, which later went viral on social media.

In the video, the saloon owner, Annakili, was seen telling Poovarasan that they wouldn’t provide give him a haircut and can be heard using a casteist slur. The barber, identified as Loganathan, who belongs to a nearby village, was heard telling Poovarasan that he can complain to whomsoever he wants. Poovarasan, who belongs to the Viduthalai Siruthaigal Katchi, is heard claiming in the video that the shop owner and other men are trying to gang up against him to create trouble.

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Later in the day, Poovarasan lodged a complaint at the Thalavasal police station against the shop owner, barber and another person who abused him using a casteist slur.

Speaking to Indianexpress.com, Selvaraj, the sub-Inspector of Thalavasal police station, said three people have been booked in connection with the incident.

“The incident on October 23 evening. Poovarasan had gone to ‘New Style Saloon’ for a haircut and the barber and the shop owner, who belong to the Vanniyar community, had denied him to provide a haircut. Based on his complaint, we booked Loganathan, Annakilli, and also one Palanivel who had abused Poovarasan and told him to get the haircut in his area and not to come here. All of them have been booked under section 3(1) (s), 3 (1) (za) (D) of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2015. Palanivel was arrested yesterday (Tuesday) and remanded to judicial custody. A special team has been formed to nab the remaining accused who are absconding,” he said.

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