Dalit activists complained of police laxity in handling cases of domestic harassment and violence at the monthly Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe grievance meet held at the City Police Commissioner’s office here on Sunday.

At least six cases of harassment of women, apart from two cases of violence against Dalits, were heard at the meet. Narrating an incident, Dalit leader S.P. Anand said a woman lodged a complaint on March 10 with the Mangalore South (Pandeshwar) police station that her husband Ganesh — allegedly an accused in a few murder cases — had been mentally and physically harassing her.

Mr. Anand and the woman alleged that the police only called him to the station, questioned him about it which he denied, and released him with no consequence. “The torture had increased after that. When we go to the police station, the police officials drive us out asking us not to irritate them,” said the woman, who had arrived with her two school-going children.

Admitting that the police had mishandled the situation, K.V. Jagadish, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order), said the husband would be booked under Section 498A – domestic harassment – and sent to judicial custody. Similarly, the activist pointed out that there was no action on the complaints by two women in Kaprigudde near Attavar who were being harassed by relatives over land; and, the inactivity of the Mangalore Rural Station in filing a case against a Gulbarga-native husband who harassed his wife and then absconded; or, the lack of action against a husband in Kadandale in Moodbidri who though has confessed to assaulting his wife, the police had not booked a case.

Mangalore City Commissioner R. Hitendra promised probe into the cases mentioned.

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