Days after media had reported that 3,000 Dalits in Mettupalayam, Tamil Nadu, converted to Islam, the villagers have denied these reports. Last week it was reported that the villagers had converted to Islam because of alleged caste discrimination following death of 17 people due to wall collapse.
The villagers say that they are Hindus and worship Lord Ram and that no Muslim organisation had approached them for religious conversion. Tamil Puligal Katchi, a Tamil outfit had claimed that they chose to embrace Islam because of lack of empathy. In Mettupalayam, Coimbatore, a 20-ft wall had collapsed earlier this month due to incessant rains. The wall was built 5 years ago to keep the Dalits away from the upper caste neighbours. The wall collapse claimed lives of 17 people.
Kin of the deceased have also expressed their intentions to not convert to Islam. Police officer, on condition of anonymity reportedly told Hindustan Times that it is the political outfit which took the ‘decision’ of conversion to Islam and that villagers don’t really want to give up their religious beliefs.