The Karnataka Samata Sainik Dal, a Dalit forum, has accused Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar of ignoring the interests of the community in his home district.

Inaugurating an awareness programme for Dalits here on Sunday, KSSD State president B. Channakrishnappanava said Mr. Shettar was not making any efforts to uplift the Dalit community.

Mr. Shettar had the powers and an opportunity to make Dharwad a model district. However, it had not happened.

Recently, without any prior information, Dalits residing in Attikolla were evicted, but Mr. Shettar turned a blind eye to the incident. Like successive governments, this one too had failed to safeguard the interests of Dalits, he said.

The Constitution stated that every citizen should be given education and basic facilities.

Unfortunately, colonies where Dalits lived lacked even basic facilities. Though, the government claimed that each colony was being allotted Rs. 2 crore annually for infrastructure development, there were no visible changes, he said.

The Samata Sainik Dal had been staging protests and exerting pressure on the government to respond to issues of Dalits, and would intensify its protest in the coming days, he said.

General secretary Pandit Munivenkatappanavar said the Dalit movement started in 1975, after which the farmer’s movement came. But a few Dalit leaders came under the influence of politicians and distanced themselves from the movement later. Hence, Dalits continued to be suppressed, he said.

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