As many as 3,000 Dalits in and around Mettupalayam in Coimbatore are set to embrace Islam citing ‘inequality’ in the Hindu religion on January 5.
The decision was taken during a district-level meeting of Tamil Puligal Katci (TPK) held in Mettupalayam on December 22. In the meeting, one of the decisions was to embrace Islam.
“Even after the death of 17 people, if the police are not ready to register a case under relevant sections of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act. There is no point staying back in the faith,” M. Ilavenil, general secretary of TPK, said. (17 people had died when a ‘discriminatory’ compound wall, built by one Sivasubramaniam, 56, to keep out members of the SC community, collapsed).
The TPK contended that the man who caused the deaths of 17 people were out on bail while Nagai Thiruvalluvan, the person who staged a protest seeking justice, was still in prison.
Ilavenil said the TPK expected 3,000 people to embrace Islam altogether but that would not happen on a single day.
“On January 5, as many as 50 people would embrace Islam many more in phases,” he added. On being asked if they were sure of being fairly treated in Islam, Ilavenil, who had converted to Islam, said there would be minor things but that would not be as bad as being in the Hindu faith.
“Even though there is disparity between those who newly convert and the others, it will vanish over a period of time. Also, after converting to Islam, if we open a teashop or a hotel, even the caste Hindus would visit the shop. This is not the case if we stay as Hinds,” he said.
The TPK has not announced the venue for the event as the people of Nadur village of Mettupalayam fear reprisal from the police.