Daily-wage labourers cannot afford the Rs. 5,000 bond

The issuance of notices asking six Dalits to sign a Rs. 5,000 bond that they would not create trouble during the elections, has left Dalit activists fuming.

The issue came up during the monthly Schedule Caste and Scheduled Tribe meeting held at the Mangalore City Police Commissioner’s office on Sunday. Activist Ashok Konchady said he and five others, including two women, have been sent this notice by the Tahsildar, acting on the report of the Kavoor police, under the Section 107 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

According to Mr. Konchady, the cases mentioned in the notice pertain to a dispute over road widening in May 2012, when the citizen’s association in Konchady – consisting predominantly of Dalit members – and the encroachers of the road, backed by Communist Party of India (Marxist) workers, got into a scuffle. The tense atmosphere had prevailed for a few months, in which time, cases and counter cases were filed by both parties.

However, during the meeting, Mr. Konchady claimed that of the six names in the list, three were not involved in the dispute. “While one person was not even in the State when the incident happened, the names of two women have been unfairly added. Cases had been filed against their husbands and not them. Why drag them into this? They are being treated as criminals in the area,” he claimed, adding that the bond was something the daily-wage labourers could not afford to pay.

Manish Karbikar, Police Commissioner, said the Tahsildar had taken this action based on police report, and this was only a preventive action before the election.

Dalit activist P. Keshava submitted a memorandum to Mr. Karbikar urging him to book politicians and party workers offering liquor or money in Dalit colonies under The Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

More In: Mangaluru