A Tamil Nadu minister is likely to offer an apology to the tribal boy he got to remove his shoes during his visit to a temple on Thursday. Forest Minister Dindigul Srinivasan has been facing waves of condemnation for his discriminatory act.
The boy, 14, has reportedly complained to the police that he felt “humiliated” and has demanded action under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
Mr Srinivasan was visiting a shrine in the Nilgiris district before launching an elephant camp in Mudimalai, around 40 km from Tamil Nadu, when the incident took place.
In a video clip shared on social media by outraged users, the minister, walking with his aides and local officials, is seen calling the teen and making him kneel down and take off his footwear. “Remove this buckle,” Mr Srinivasan instructs.
The boy did as he was told.
Some in the minister’s entourage tried to block camerapersons from capturing the sight, which caused outrage online.
Feeling shame to have him as our Minister.
Dindigul Srinivasan asking Tribal boy to remove his sleepers to enter shrine.
Most hatred & Most disgusting Man.
He should be sacked from d cabinet with an immediate effect. pic.twitter.com/x0rBww6oEl
— Naveen N (@iamyournaveen) February 6, 2020
“Disgusting. If he couldn’t remove the buckles in his slipper, why wear one like that. Wish that boy had removed the slipper and beaten him up with it for treating him that way. #dindigulsrinivasan should be punished,” tweeted another user.
Newspaper reports said he was the son of a mahout.
Police sources say the district administration is organising a meeting between the boy and the minister, who reportedly wants to apologise.