Dakshina Kannada is one of the few districts without an Ambedkar Bhavan. This is because of the anti-Dalit attitude of the district administration, Dalit rights activists alleged here on Friday.
Addressing presspersons, leaders of Karnataka Dalit Sangharsha Samiti (B. Krishnappa Stapita, Ambedkar vada and Bheema vada), Karnataka Dalit Vidhyarthi Okutta, Dalit Hakkugalu Samiti, and other organisations, said though 1.61 acres of land had been allotted for the construction of the Ambedkar Bhavan at Urva Stores in April 2011, work on the bhavan had not been taken up.
According to Krishnananda D., a dalit leader, the former Deputy Commissioner Subodh Yadav had allotted a piece of land adjacent to Radio Park in Urva Stores for an Ambedkar Bhavan and sanctioned Rs. 4.5 crore for its construction. “However, there has been no development after that. In fact, when we asked under the Right to Information Act, the Revenue Department stated that the park land could not be given for construction of the bhavan. Instead, unofficially the department stated, the bhavan could be built at Urva market,” he said. M. Devadas, convenor of KDSS (B. Krishnappa Stapita), said Urva Market was not acceptable as it was away from the main road and had little access to public transport.
The organisations threatened to launch a district-wide protest if work on the bhavan was not taken up soon.
In a statement, the organisations condemned the arrest of TV reporter Naveen Soorinje.