Members of the Raichur taluk unit of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) staged a protest outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office here on Tuesday against the alleged social boycott of Dalits at Gadyal village in Jamakhandi taluk of Bagalkot district.

According to the protesters, landlords in Gadyal had imposed a social boycott on Dalit families as revenge for some Dalits lodging a police complaint seeking action against those who had allegedly defaced a statue of B.R. Ambedkar.

“The landlords have even imposed a fine of Rs. 5,000 each on two youths for protesting against the social boycott and standing in favour of the Dalits. Dalits have been jobless for the last four months as ‘caste’ Hindus are not allowing them to work in their fields. Children belonging to ‘caste’ Hindus and Dalits are afraid of speaking to each other,” K.G. Veeresh, taluk secretary of the CPI(M), said.

He urged the State government to intervene immediately.

“The government should pay Rs. 25,000 each as compensation to Dalit families that have been rendered jobless for the last four months owing to the social boycott. As part of long-lasting rehabilitation, Dalit youths in the village should be given training, with financial aid, in self-employment and other trades, under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act,” Mr. Veeresh said.

A memorandum addressed to the Chief Minister was submitted at the Deputy Commissioner’s office.

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