The city police came under fire for taking lightly cases of atrocities against Dalits during the monthly Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe grievance meet held at Mangalore Police Commissioner’s office here on Sunday.

Sumitra Umesh, a resident of Konaje and a regular at the meeting, reiterated that even though she had presented her grievance against the neighbours who were harassing her family and against the laxity of Konaje police station officials, no action had been taken.

“Five atrocity cases have been booked against the accused since 2010, but there has been no progress in the investigation. The harassment has intensified and we’re facing threats. The police have done nothing to ensure our safety,” she said, adding that the most serious of the cases registered was an attempted poisoning of the water tank of the house.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) N. Vishnuvardhan assured her of an immediate inquiry and appropriate action.

Similarly, activist Girish Kumar complained that lower-level police officials take action only when atrocities come to the knowledge of higher-level police authorities.

Citing an example, he said though Keshav, a quarry worker, had lost his finger in a quarry accident in Bajpe, and subsequently was mentally and physically harassed by the quarry owner, the Bajpe police had refused to consider his complaint.

“It was only when Dalit organisations approached the commissioner, that a case was filed,” said Mr. Kumar.

It was not only the police that the activists targeted. “Malicious” dalit leaders were the subject of complaint too.

Vishu Kumar told the DCP that Ismail Bala, a resident of Suratkal, had formed a “fake” organisation, All Karnataka Dalit, Backward and Minorities Committee, to threaten locals and the local police.

Mr. Vishnuvardhan asked the Surathkal Police inspector to investigate the case.

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