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Pourakarmika's death triggers tension

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Appeal:Deputy Commissioner R. Vishal, Superintendent of Police B.A. Padmanayan and other officials talking to leaders of various organisations in Gulbarga on Tuesday.
Appeal:Deputy Commissioner R. Vishal, Superintendent of Police B.A. Padmanayan and other officials talking to leaders of various organisations in Gulbarga on Tuesday.

Special Correspondent

Ambubai was among those who were arrested on Thursday after a ‘rasta roko' in Gulbarga

‘Ambubai was running high fever when she was released'

According to doctors, she died of malaria

GULBARGA: The death of a 48-year-old pourakarmika, Ambubai Ramachandrappa, in the early hours of Tuesday after a brief illness led to tension in some parts of the city for more than five hours.

Pourakarmikas kept the body of Ms. Ambubai in front of the administrative office of the Gulbarga City Corporation and staged a demonstration demanding compensation to her family.

They blamed city corporation and district administration authorities for her death.

Leaders of various Dalit organisations and political parties refused to remove the body till the Government announced compensation to Ms. Ambubai's family.

Ms. Ambubai was running a fever when she and other pourakarmikas were arrested on Thursday when they staged a “rasta roko” near Jagat Circle here.

Admitted

Some of the pourakarmikas who were arrested along with Ms. Ambubai said that when the police released them late on Thursday night after booking cases under Section 75 of the Police Act, she was running high fever. They admitted her in the Government General Hospital.

She was discharged from the government hospital after her condition slightly improved on Saturday. However, on Sunday Ms. Ambubai's condition deteriorated and she was admitted to a private hospital. She was shifted to Basaveshwar Teaching and General Hospital on Monday where she died on Tuesday morning, they said. According to the doctors, she died of malaria.

Pourakarmikas and leaders including senior Dalit leader Shivaram Moga, DSS district unit convener Suresh Hadimani, BJP councillor Vishal Dargi, BSP leader Suryakant Nimbalkar, State general secretary of the Dalit Sena Hanumanth Yelsangi, Basavantrao Valkeri, the former Mayor Babu Vanti and leader of the Opposition in the corporation council Abdul Rehman Munna staged the demonstration.

Compensation

Deputy Commissioner R. Vishal, corporation Commissioner Manojkumar Jain and Superintendent of Police B.A. Padmanayan arrived at the spot and tried to persuade the leaders allow cremation the body. Dr. Vishal told the agitators that he would try to get compensation from the Chief Minister' relief fund and other sources to Ms. Ambubai's family.

Later, he held a meeting with Dalit leaders and reiterated the State Government's offer to pourakarmikas who are demanding release of wages pending since the last 35 months.

Dr. Vishal said individual cheques for Rs. 1.8 lakh towards the pending wages of the pourakarmikas were ready and they would be given to them if became members of self-help groups (SHGs). Dr. Vishal told the Dalit leaders to persuade the pourakarmikas to accept the Government's proposal. However, the Dalit leaders refused to do so.

Later, the pourakarmikas agreed to allow cremation after the officials promised compensation to Ms. Ambubai's family.

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