The National Scheduled Castes Commission on Tuesday held an hour-long hearing of a complaint by Tamil Nadu BJP leader K Srinivasan that the DMK official paper Murasoli’s office is operating out of a land in Chennai originally allotted to the Dalits by the British.
Commission’s vice-chairman L Murugan, who held enquiry with the DMK, State Chief Secretary K Shanmugham and complainant Srinivasan, adjourned the hearing to January next after the Government as well as the BJP leader sought more time to respond.
Srinivasan told reporters that he produced a GO before the commission. The commission had summoned DMK youth wing leader Uhayanidhi Maran in his capacity as managing director of the Murasoli Trust. However, DMK legal wing leader and member of the trust R S Bharathi appeared on behalf the party.
Bharathi said he had told the commission that the complaint was politically motivated as it had come from a political leader who was, moreover, not a Scheduled Caste. He said Srinivasan failed to provide any evidence to prove that Murasoli building was located in a panchami land that is one assigned to Dalits during the British rule.
He also contended that the commission ought to have taken up the issue as it related to title to a land, not to any atrocity against Scheduled Castes.
Bharathi told reporters that he did not submit any document regarding land records as it was for the complainant to prove the charge, not for the DMK to disprove it . He said the DMK instead submitted a detailed letter explaining its stand.
The issue of panchami land was raised first by Pattali Makkal Katchi founder S Ramadoss during the recent by-elections to the Tamil Nadu Assembly from Vikhravandi and Nanguneri.
Party president M K Stalin challenged Ramadoss to prove the charge or quit politics. Bharathi said the party would file a criminal defamation case against Dr Ramadoss.