A Dalit panchayat president in a village of Tamil Nadu's Tiruvallur district has alleged that she was not allowed to hoist the national flag on Independence Day as a result of caste discrimination.
V Amurtham, 60, is the chief of Athupakkam village. She has claimed that although she was invited to a government school for flag-hoisting, they later asked her her not to come, citing concerns over coronavirus.
According to the woman's son, Sasikumar, his mother received an invitation phone call to hoist the national flag at 8:30 PM. However, half an hour later, she was asked not to come.
He said that the event was held without her anyway, despite the apparent health concerns that they had cited as a reason to ask her not to come.
Amurtham said that being the panchayat chief, she still held sway over community affairs. She has been receiving threats and has been discriminated against.
"My mother is wondering if she should give up the responsibility," News18 quoted Sasikumar as saying.
Amurtham stressed the need for protection for herself because she felt threatened as she belonged to the SC/ST community.
In January this year, Amurtham was turned away from being part of a flag-hoisting event in the school.
District authorities claimed that they received no formal complaint. The State Human Rights Commission, meanwhile, has sought a report from the district collector.