They term the incident heinous and inhuman

Various pro-Dalit organisations, including the Dalit Sangharsh Samiti (DSS), Dr. Ambedkar Sangha, Babu Jagjivan Ram Association and Safai Karamchari Seva Sangha, staged a dharna outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office here on Thursday.

They were protesting against the recent police lathi-charge on Dalits who had gathered outside the Suvarna Soudha in Belgaum to put pressure on the government to accept the Sadashiva Commission’s recommendations on giving special quota in reservation to various Dalit communities.

These Dalit organisations, led by Mundargi Nagaraj, A. Manaiah, Arjun and others, also demanded an inquiry by a sitting High Court judge into the incident in which several people, including elderly citizens, were injured.

‘Heinous act’

Meanwhile, addressing a press conference here on Thursday, Jayagopal of the DSS (N. Murthy faction), criticised the government for what he described as suppressing the pro-people movement through police force and adopting an anti-Dalit stand. “It is a most heinous and inhuman act of the government that deserves to be condemned,” he said.

Mr. Jayagopal suspected that some groups of Scheduled Caste communities, which were opposing the Sadashiva Commission recommendations, might have thrown stones to create chaos that had resulted in a large number of people being beaten up by the police.

He appealed to Dalit leaders who were in powerful positions, including MLAs, to come out of the government and support the genuine cause of a majority of Dalits.

Addressing a separate press conference, M. Venkataswamy of the Samata Sainik Dal said that the lathi-charge on the Dalits had given room for the suspicion whether democracy existed in the State.

Terming the police action inhuman, Mr. Venkataswamy said, “This incident would not have happened if the Home Minister or any other Minister had met the Dalit leaders and received their memorandum.”


Chitradurga Staff Correspondent reports:

Members of the Madiga Meesalati Horata Samiti on Thursday took out a procession and staged a dharna at Onake Obavva Circle in Chitradurga in protest against the ‘unprovoked’ lathi-charge on its members.

Communities engaged in scavenging, tanning, carrying animal carcasses, and other similar jobs, for which they were being ostracised, would get justice if the Sadashiva panel’s recommendations were implemented, they said.

  • Government criticised for ‘suppressing pro-people movement’

  • ‘Incident would not have happened if a Minister had met the Dalit leaders’