Police personnel were charged with not taking complaints of Dalits seriously at the monthly grievance meeting for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, held at the district police headquarters here on Sunday.
Dalit leaders charged that some police officers were often trivialising the complaints filed under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and harassed those who questioned them.
Some leaders alleged that the police station-level grievance meetings for SC/STs were not held regularly, and in some cases the police were collecting signatures from some persons to prove that meetings were conducted.
Superintendent of Police A.S. Rao asked the circle inspectors present at the meeting to reign in their personnel. “It is a matter of concern that in today’s meeting, a majority of complaints are not against caste Hindus but against the police, who are supposed to protect the vulnerable sections,” he said.
He said that in February, a special sensitisation drive would be conducted for police personnel in the district. “A seven-day refresher course is planned for the police in February. We will include a half-day module to sensitise the police about Dalit issues,” he said.
District president of the samiti S.P. Ananda drew attention to the alleged slow pace of investigation into what he termed murder of Rajappa on October 2, 2008 at an agricultural estate, owned by the wife of former district in-charge Minister B. Nagaraj Shetty.
Alleging that the case was being hushed up owing to political pressure, he said the wife of the deceased had complained that the death had been “made to appear as a suicide” but it was “actually a murder”. The complainant charged a worker in the estate with committing the murder. Mr. Rao invited the Dalit leaders for a discussion on the case and said that investigations would be speeded up.