Directorate of State Civil Rights Enforcement has convened a meeting in Bangalore on Monday to discuss on widening its scope of functions, according to Sarvottam Pai, Superintendent of Police, Western Range of the directorate.

At a meeting convened by district police to redress the grievances of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe people here on Sunday he said that he would raise certain issues pointed out by Dalit leaders under his range at the meeting.

More assurances

The investigation into the death of Shivappa Bangera, a non-teaching employee at Mangalore University, in 2001 was raked up again in Sunday’s meeting. It had been raised in the last meeting conducted by the district police. A Dalit leader requested Dakshina Kannada Superintendent of Police Labhu Ram not to close the case. Mr. Ram said that the case had been registered in 2001 and even though the case had been investigated for a year, no leads had turned up. Even a polygraph test on one of the accused failed to provide conclusive evidence, he said.

In 2003 the police had told the court that there was insufficient evidence to file a charge sheet. He said that there was no objection to re-opening the case if fresh evidence came up. Assistant Superintendent of Police (Puttur) Rohini Katoch later directed the wife of Mr. Bangera to come to Bantwal Rural police station on August 14 so that her statement could be recorded.

The case could be re-opened if the police found fresh clues in the wife’s statement, Mr. Ram said.

Ms. Katoch said that the investigation into the complaint against a police constable from Kadaba police station who had been accused of falsely promising to marry a woman belonging to a Scheduled Caste, had not turned up anything concrete. She said that presently there was not enough evidence to charge the constable.

Devappa from Sullia said that the contractor who constructed 40 houses meant for the Scheduled Caste people at Aletti and Devachalla villages in Sullia Taluk refused to hand over the houses until he was released funds of construction by the authorities. In the meanwhile, the people were living in tents right outsides the houses meant for them, he said. Mr. Ram asked him to write letters to the Sullia Circle Inspector of Police, Western Range of the Directorate of Civil Rights Enforcement, and the Social Welfare Department.

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