The samiti demands the distribution of ‘Depressed Class lands’ to the Dalits

Karnataka Dalit Sangharsha Samiti (Bheemavada) will organise a massive “DC office chalo” programme, demanding the distribution of depressed class lands (reserved for the Dalits) to the Dalits in the district, here on January 4.

DSS convenor Udaykumar Tallur told presspersons here on Wednesday that the British Government had conducted a study about the condition of the depressed classes in the erstwhile South Canara district in the then Madras Presidency. The study brought to the fore the pathetic condition of depressed classes and the system of bonded labour. The British Government in 1860 had decided to reserve some plots in every village for the welfare of these depressed classes. These plots of land were called DC manna bhoomi in Kannada.

Mr. Tullur said that there had been instances in which these plots, reserved for the depressed classes, had been grabbed by the people belonging to upper classes; to curb this, the State Government had passed the Karnataka Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prohibition of Transfer of Certain Lands) Act, 1978. Despite this, encroachment by landlords and other communities continued.

The government should reclaim these plots of land in the district and the State and distribute them to the Dalits. Besides, landlords had encroached or grabbed hundreds of acres of government land. These plots too should be reclaimed and distributed among the poor. The government should give sites to those who did not have sites and title deeds to those who did not posses title deeds, he said.

The DSS condemned the “unwarranted” lathi-charge on the CPI(M) workers when they were marching to the Krishna Math here on December 27 protesting against “made snana” and “pankti bheda”. The cases slapped against them should be withdrawn.

The DSS would take out a procession from the Town Hall to the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Manipal to press for all its demands, Mr. Tallur added.