A large number of Communist Party of India (Marxist) activists took part in a six-day-long march from Dharmasthala to Mangalore demanding a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into all the unnatural deaths that have occurred in Dharmasthala in the last 10 years. Another group of CPI(M) activists started the march from Sullia.

The march was launched from the house of the 17-year-old rape and murder victim in Dharmasthala by senior CPI(M) activist U.B. Lokayya. Mr. Lokayya was part of the agitation held in Belthangady 25 years ago that demanded investigation into the murder of the 17-year-old Padmalata in 1987.

Mr. Lokayya said they did fight for justice along with Padmalata’s father Devanand, a CPI activist. But the protests were snuffed out by powerful persons. Demonstrations in relation to the rape and murder of the 17-year-old in October, 2012, have gathered momentum and it would have the desired effect, he said.

CPI (M) activist B.M. Bhat said defamation cases had been filed against the parents of the rape and murder victim to suppress the voices.

DYFI District unit president Muneer Katipalla said investigations should be done in all the 450-odd unnatural deaths that had occurred in Dharmasthala in the last 10 years. Demonstrators reached Beltangady on Thursday night. The march will resume on Friday morning and reach Venoor and then go to Moodbidri. It will reach Mangalore on November 26. The march from Sullia will also reach Mangalore on November 26.

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