Activists of the Dalit Human Rights Movement called off their agitation on Saturday afternoon following talks between DHRM leaders and Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Mahesh Kumar Singla. The agitation was launched on Friday in protest against the alleged harassment of DHRM workers by a Sub-Inspector of Police on Thursday.
Talking to reporters, the ADGP said the Crime Branch Police would probe the harassment charges levelled by DHRM leaders against Sub-Inspector Dileep Khan. The SI would be shifted from the Pathanamthitta police station as demanded by the DHRM leaders, he said.
As many as 700 DHRM workers staged a dharna before the Mini Civil Station here on Saturday morning demanding action against the SI. Activists of the Dalit outfit laid siege to the Pathanamthitta police station in the early hours of Friday, demanding the release of 14 DHRM workers who were taken into custody by the police on Thursday night while sticking wall posters in the town against the SI. They were arrested on the charge of carrying lethal weapons (swords) in an autorickshaw.
All the 14 accused were produced before the court on Friday afternoon and were remanded in judicial custody for 14 days.
More Dalit activists from the neighbouring districts of Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam joined the protesters on Friday and they took out a march to the office of the Dy. SP. They staged a sit-in on the police station road for about three hours and later retreated to the dharna venue in front of the Mini Civil Station at around 9 p.m. on Friday.
The ADGP reached Pathanamthitta on Saturday forenoon to inquire into the matter. Mr.Singla, accompanied by Superintendent of Police K.K. Balachandran, held talks with DHRM office-bearers Seleena Prakkanam, Prasanth Koliyoor and Sajimon Cheloor for about three hours.
The ADGP said the Fingerprint Bureau and forensic experts would look into the DHRM stand that the sword seized by the police from an autorickshaw did not belong to them. The DHRM leaders alleged that the swords were planted by the police to fabricate a case against the dalit workers who were taken into custody on Thursday night.
The DHRM workers ended their dharna with a march in the town on Saturday afternoon.
Keywords: Dalit human rights