Says police doling out promises but not acting on complaints

A Dalit activist questioned the efficacy of the monthly grievance meet for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe held at the Office of the Superintendent of Police here, alleging the police of being rude, derelict in duty and apathetic.

“I have been coming here for the past seven years, and there has been no action on our complaints. Either the police officials dismiss our complaints saying it is ‘nothing’, or else they take our written complaint and sit on it without doing anything,” Shekar L., Dalita Hakkugala Horata Samiti, Belthangady, said at Sunday’s meet.

Referring to a complaint he had made two months ago at the meet, the activist said he had submitted documents to the SP showing the modus operandi of corruption in the Belthangady Police Station.

A Sub-Inspector at the station was allegedly penalising motorists Rs. 1,300 (with a receipt dated September 13 as proof), while the copy sent to the police station – with the same receipt number – showed that just Rs. 400 had been charged.

Though the SP had assured him of action, the activist says that the SI had not yet been placed under suspension. Other “ignored complaints” include allegations against “contractors” working to displace tribal people from the Kudremukh National Park limits – an issue that ended in a Maoist attack, said the activist.

Similarly, there was anger at the police treatment of complaints under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

“The police often attempt a compromise by getting the accused and the complainant to sit across each other and talk in the police station. Is this the procedure to be followed?” Mr. Shekar said.

SP Shantanu Sinha said that the investigation into the allegations against the sub-inspector was on, while he promised action on the rest of the complaints.

Ban made snana:

With the controversial practice of made snana (rolling over the leftover meals of Brahmins) scheduled to take place in the Kukke Subramanya temple between December 6 and 8, Dalit activists have asked the police to ban it.

Activists called the practise of devotees rolling over leftover food of Brahmins as “degrading” to the Dalits. However, the district police said that the issue was pending at the Cabinet level, and no ban could be enforced until the Cabinet took a decision.

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