Of Jails And Jaatis: Tamil Nadu Officials Accused Of Severe Caste Bias In PrisonsPalayamkottai central prison, Tirunelveli district. 

Officials in the central prison in Palayamkottai, Southern Tamil Nadu, are reported to be practising the worst form of caste discrimination, reports The Times of India.

Reports suggest that the authorities have been segregating prisoners into different caste groups -Dalits, Nadars and Thevars and placing them in different blocks so that they do not mingle with each other.

Inmates are called by prefixing their caste names as well. The TOI report says that the 138-year-old prison has four wards earmarked for the Thevar community, two for Dalits and one for Nadars.

Tirunelveli and surrounding areas are known for frequent caste clashes. Quoting retired jail officials, the report says the practice is being followed since 1984, only to prevent caste clashes in the jail.

The issue of caste-based segregation was once taken up in the Madras High Court, with R Kanagara, then jail superintendent, filing an affidavit justifying the separation. He said there was a threat to the inmates after which the case got dismissed.

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