Controversial compound wall in Coimbatore pulled down by authorities

A portion of the over 15-foot high compound wall had collapsed on December 2, 2019, killing 17 people in Nadur. File Photo

The remaining portion of the compound wall which collapsed on a row of houses killing 17
people in the district was razed down on Thursday even as a team of officials of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes visited the spot.

The Commission Chairman Naresh Katheria and Vice Chairman Dr. L Murugan visited Nadur village where the mishap occurred on Monday(December 2) and held discussions with the residents. During a brief interaction with reporters, Murugan said that based on complaints, the commission was conducting an enquiry to ascertain whether the wall was constructed to discriminate against Dalits.

Besides, the commission has directed the authorities concerned and the PWD to verify whether proper materials were used for the wall construction and the reason for the
collapse, he added.

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Murugan also said that the administration was asked to issue a memo to the officials, who failed to inspect the wall despite complaints by various organisations and locals, on the
danger posed by it.

The Commission asked the authorities to register a case against the owner of the building under the SC/ST Act and it also directed the government to provide jobs as promised within one week.

The operation to pull down the remaining portion of the wall was done amid tight police security, under the supervision of revenue officials. The administration took the step following an outcry by various organisations, particularly pro-Dalit outfits, which alleged that the landowner constructed the wall deliberately to discriminate against the Dalits.

A portion of the over 15-foot high compound wall, damp due to heavy rains in Coimbatore district, came crashing down on the adjoining four tiled-roof houses in the Dalit settlement in Nadur around 5 a.m on Monday, killing 17 people, including ten women and two children. The owner of the house around which the structure was built was arrested on Tuesday (December 3).

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