Some Koragas were made to beat ‘Dollu' drums at a buffalo race on December 13

The members of the Koraga Abhivridhi Sanghagala Okkoota (Federation of Koraga Development Associations) staged a dharna in front of the Deputy Commissioner's office here on Wednesday demanding action against those who violated the Karnataka Koragas (Prohibition of Ajalu Practice) Act, 2000, at the Vaddambettu ‘Kambala' ( Buffalo race ) at Kokkarne in Udupi district on December 13.

Federation's Kokkarne unit president Dinesh Koraga told presspersons that during the annual kambala, the members of the Koaraga community, a very backward Scheduled Tribe, were asked to beat the “Dollu” drums the night before the buffalo race by the organisers. They wanted the members of the Koraga community to keep a watch on the fields where the buffalo race was to be held.

Drum beating did not allow the drum beaters to sleep at night. Besides this, the members of the community were treated in an inferior manner and asked to keep distance from the members of the upper caste. They were made to consume alcohol and smoke.

The members of the Koraga community at Kokkarne village had stopped participating in the kambala because of the ill-treatment. But the organisers got members of the Koraga community from other places to beat the “Dollu” drums last year (on December 10, 2010).

Anticipating that the organisers would resort to the same tactic this year, the Federation had urged the tahsildar on December 5 to ensure that the Karnataka Koragas (Prohibition of Ajalu Practice) Act, 2000 was not violated by the organisers of the Kambala.

The federation had the Brahmavar police station with the same request. The sub-inspector had given a letter stating that he had called the organizers of the kambala and asked them not to violate the Act and they had agreed to it. But despite all this, 12 members of the Koraga community from other places were brought by the organisers to the Vadambettu Kambala.

Demands

Hence, the federation wanted the suspension of the Sub-Inspector of Brahmavar Police Station and legal action against him and also the tahsildar for not preventing the violation of the Prohibition of the Ajalu Act. Legal action should be initiated against the organisers of the Kambala under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. The district administration should take steps to implement the Karnataka Koragas (Prohibition of Ajalu Practice) Act, 2000.

If the district administration did not fulfil these demands, the federation would launch an indefinite dharna in front of the Deputy Commissioner's office from December 22, Mr. Koraga said.

Keywords: dharna