A case of unnatural death and a complaint were registered at Mangalore East Police Station, but the reason for the death has not been communicated to them so far

The emotional scars after the death of their daughter under mysterious circumstances still remain. Six months after their daughter’s death, Shesha and Saroja are still seeking reasons behind the death from police.

Their story and anger at the attitude of the police came to the fore at a monthly meeting called by Mangalore Police Commissionerate to hear the grievances of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in Mangalore Police Commissioner’s Office on Sunday.

After 22 months of working for a Chikmagalur landowner’s house here in Shivbagh, Shobha (23) died after contracting a “fever”, said Mr. Shesha, a daily-wage worker in Belthangady. However, this was known to them only after a series of suspicious incidents. On March 6, the couple received a call from the landowner informing them that Shobha had fallen sick, he said. When the couple offered to visit their daughter, the landowner resisted and asked them to come the next day. “We arrived on March 7 and were told that she had been admitted to Father Muller’s Hospital at Kankanady. When we went there, the hospital told us she was never admitted. A day later, we were sent to the mortuary of Government Wenlock Hospital where they were doing a post-mortem on our daughter’s body,” Mr. Shesha.

A case of unnatural death and a complaint were registered at Mangalore East Police Station, but the reason for the death has not been communicated to them so far. At the meeting, police officers told the couple that they were still awaiting a report from Forensic Science Laboratory in Mangalore.

‘Transfer police officer’

An argument erupted at the meet when Korgappa, a member of Moodibidri Town Municipal Corporation, and Chandappa, convenor of Karnataka Dalitha Sangharsha Samiti (Dr. Ambedkarvada), asked for the immediate transfer of A.K. Thimmaiah, Circle Inspector, Moodbidri, for being involved in the “increasing incidents of violence against Dalits” in the area.

The group from Moodbidri aired their ire to Manish Kharbikar, Mangalore City Police Commissioner, accusing the inspector of siding with politicians and realtors in cases of Dalit atrocities.

S.P. Anand, a Dalit activist, raised the issue of police inaction on a complaint against a play staged at a programme organised by Karnataka Tulu Sahitya Academy and a book written by Kadri Prakash, both of which used derogatory terms in their reference to Dalits. “For the past three months, I’ve been raising this issue, but there has been no action. There is no use of these meetings,” he said.

Lingappa Nantoor, another activist, said a missing Dalit girl had not been traced even after raising the issue in consecutive meetings. Mr. Kharbikar promised action on the issues.

More In: Mangalore