Mangaluru: Allegations of atrocities dominate SC/ST meeting, SP assures action
Mangaluru, Feb 3: Complaints of atrocities and fraud committed by officials domnated the district-level grievance meeting for SC/STs held at SP’s office here on Tuesday February 3
“Though the government and departments have implemented several welfare programmes and lacs of rupees has been released, the funds have not reached the beneficiaries,” the complaints claimed.
Giving examples of the claim, Somanath, president, Dalit Sangarsha Samiti (DSS) said, “Under the Karnataka state government’s ‘Ashraya Vasathi’ scheme 2005-06 only Rs 20,000 was paid to the beneficiaries and thereafter in 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09 no installments were paid. The accused president of Markanje gram panchayat Shivaram Gowda, secretary Prem Singh Nayak, and clerk Keshava withdrew the money belonging to the beneficiaries by forging signatures. The estimated amount pocketed is Rs 37 lacs.”
Some of the other office-bearers of DSS alleged that a woman belonging to the Dalit community was threatened of rape by two men who were harassing her. “On January 31, Surinder and Praveen attacked Prema Sullia and threatened her that they would publicly rape her when we went to lodge a complaint against them. In another incident Bhavani, a Dalit was attacked by Govardhan when a complaint was lodged in Puttur Savanoor station. Constable Sheshappa Gowda called her husband and told him to withdraw the complaint or face trouble,” they said.
They further alleged that Sangh Parivar activists had also attacked the Dalits for no apparent reason. “Boys were attacked by the Sangh Parivar activists for catching fish. The activists stopped them and demanded to know their religion. When they came to know they were Dalits, they attacked them for not attending the Virat Hindu Hrudaya Sangama in Puttur,” the DSS members alleged.
They also urged the SP to install a police outpost in Charmady Ghat.
Claiming that only Dalits were being targetted when it came to land acquisition for road development, they said, “Only 10-15 percent of the Dalits in Dakshina Kannada own land and in spite of this authorities want only Dalits to give their land for road construction. In an incident in Beltangady’s Kanyadi, Dalits were forced to give their land for constructing road to the forest. When the circle inspector visited the spot, he too supported them by ordering the land to be surrendered even though there was an alternative.”
Responding to the complaints, SP Dr Sharanappa said, “Your complaints will be take up seriously and the police stations concerned will be directed to look into them. If found to be true, suitable action will be taken against the culprits as per law.”
He further said, “There should be no ill-feeling towards the police department. We are here to help you. For the past 20 years there was request to open a police station in Dharmasthala which has been now sanctioned by the government. Our officers work 16-18 hours a day. They are also human beings. There is an acute shortage of police force in the district. For every 1 lac people, only 55 police personnel are available. We have started E-beat in most of the stations.”
Lakshmana, Rama, Shivappa, convenor Dalit Sangarsha Samiti and others were present at the meeting.