Our Dalit History post for today is on the terrible Tsundur Massacre.
The history of Dalits is haunted by the heartbreaking reality of Caste atrocity. India and the other South Asian countries where Caste is rampant, maintain Caste apartheid through Caste lynchings, massacres, and public rapes and beatings. This violence is a vicious reprisal message to Dalits who challenge caste norms- creating a vicious climate of terror. However the reason we know and remember these crimes, is through the remarkable activism of the survivors and their families.
The Tsundur massacre is an example of one such case. Tsundur (or Chundhur) is a village dominated by the Reddy caste in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh (pop. 5,800). After a series of escalating small caste skirmishes the violence broke out in full force on the morning of August 6th, where police who were colluding with the perpetrator warned Dalits an attack was imminent and asked them to flee to the fields.
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They did this to have the Dalits come out into the open so that the 400 dominant Caste villagers who were waiting in the fields and forests, beat the Dalits with iron rods, and stabbed them with daggers and axes. The Reddys then gathered the bodies and packed them into gunny bags and tossed them into the nearby Tungabhadra drain. In all, at least 8 Dalit men were stabbed or beaten to death, and 7 others whom have never been traced are believed dead. The police made no effort to recover the bodies of those killed.
In the wake of this attack the families and Dalit Movements throughout Andhra Pradesh fought tirelessly to bring these Caste criminals to justice. The first ever special atrocity court was convened onsite to try these perpetrators. However, despite an initial set of convictions, The Supreme Court of India in July 2014 stayed all further proceedings and justice has repeatedly been denied. We salute and honor the memory of the slain and their families who continue to carry on the fight.