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Attack on Dalits triggers all-round protests

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At crossroads: Family of Dalit youth Veerapandu, who died in an attack at Pottilanka village in Kadiyam mandal of East Godavari. –
At crossroads: Family of Dalit youth Veerapandu, who died in an attack at Pottilanka village in Kadiyam mandal of East Godavari. –

Special Correspondent

Minister says stern action will be taken; several organisations demand a probe into the incident

HYDERABAD: Marketing Minister M. Mareppa has demanded that the government take stern action against those responsible for attack on Dalits in Pottilanka village in Kadiyam mandal of East Godavari district. Reacting to the incident, Mr. Mareppa said it was unfortunate that Dalits and those belonging to the weaker sections were still suffering at the hands of the influential persons in the society. Even before people could forget the incidents in Karamchedu, Neerukonda and Tsundur, the latest incident has only showed the insecurity faced by Dalits, he added.

Compensation sought

Meanwhile, the Committee Against Caste Discrimination demanded stringent action under the SC, ST Atrocities (prevention)Act against persons belonging to upper castes for the fatal attack on a Dalit, Iripandu, of Pottilanka, in East Godvari district.

John Wesley, general secretary, in a statement issued here wanted Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy to visit the village and initiate suitable steps. He demanded suspension of DSP for his alleged ‘irresponsible’ behaviour, protection to the seriously injured Dalits and payment of compensation of Rs.5 lakh to the victim’s family and Rs.3 lakh to the seriously injured.

According to the statement, the attack was a sequel to Dalits questioning caste discrimination allegedly taking place in local hotels.

Dalit Stree Shakti, an organisation working for Dalit women empowerment, has demanded that the government set up special court to try all cases of atrocities on Dalits in East Godavari district in the last two years.

Convenor of the organisation Jhansi Geddam in a press note said that during a fact-finding visit to Pottilanka village in Kadiyam mandal of East Godavari district, the victims said people belonging to a dominant caste had led the attack to terrorise the Dalits.

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