The issue of police ignoring and refusing to register complaints given by Dalits dominated the monthly meeting organised by the district police on Sunday.
Kusappa from Puttur said the police had been unwilling to register a case when a Dalit man was beaten up at Addebailu in Sullia taluk a few months ago. He said although they had brought it to the attention of the Assistant Superintendent of Police Puttur, it had not yielded results.
Superintendent of Police Labhu Ram said that unless they inquired into the incident, they could not give a reply to the allegation. He said he would let them know in the next meeting.
Dalit Sangharsh Samiti (B. Krishnappa Sthapitha) Krishnananda said this instance clearly showed that the police did not register cases brought by Dalit people. Mr. Ram assured him that he would look into the incident.
Another man spoke of an incident that occurred within Bantwal Rural limits in which a Dalit man had been assaulted over a land dispute and even after it became clear to the police that the disputed land did indeed belong to the Dalit man, the police had registered a complaint against him. “What was the need for a second complaint?” the man asked.
A woman said that she had lodged a complaint at the Mangalore Rural police station against a man who had cheated her of Rs. 1.5 lakh on the pretext of securing a job. She said that she wanted to know what happened to her complaint.
At Kotehitlu in Uppinangady, Puttur taluk, a degree college was being managed from a building which was actually an Ambedkar Bhavan, said Somnath, former president of Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat.
He said that although they had requested the college authorities to vacate the building, the latter refused to do so stating that the college had spent thousands of rupees on developing it. Balakrishna, a teacher, said that there were no basic amenities in a Dalit colony in Chelur, Bantwal taluk.
The road to the colony had been encroached by people belonging to other castes, making it impossible for them to move about.
Although they had brought it to the notice of the tahsildar who had ordered the encroachers to remove the illegal construction, it had been two months since they heard from the officer.
Ramesh Naik from Belthangady told Mr. Ram that there were inconsistencies in a scheme of the Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Development Corporation involving the sanctioning of borewells to persons from Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. He said the actual measurements of the borewells significantly differed from the measurements recorded in the bills for 135 borewells sanctioned in the taluk. He said that these should be investigated. Mr. Ram said that he would take the necessary action.
Several Dalit activists requested the Superintendent of Police to direct officials from other departments to be present at the meeting called by the police.