Case comes up at grievance meet chaired by Upa Lokayukta

Upa Lokayukta Subhash B. Adi chaired a grievances redressal meeting at the Bangalore Rural zilla panchayat on Tuesday.

Over 150 people from Hoskote and Nelamangala attended the meeting. Heart-rending scenes were witnessed when they poured out their woes and sought redressal to their problems.

Sample this: Chikka Rama (54), a Dalit from Pudrigere Colony in Nelamangala was employed by a ‘caste’ Hindu hotelier for a wage of Rs. 10 per day. He was made to work from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. all week for two months until December 2012. However, his employer did not pay him Rs. 600 that he was owed at the end of two months.

When he demanded his wages, they assaulted and abused him. The local police, with whom he filed a case under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, refused to admit his complaint. When Mr. Adi called the jurisdictional Deputy Superintendent of Police, he tried to trivialise the issue by saying that Mr. Rama was harassing the police for a few hundred rupees. A comment that triggered laughter in the room full of government officials.

However, when Mr. Adi pointed out that it was not about the money and essentially a case of atrocity, the Deputy Superintendent of Police had no answer. “Have you read the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act? It is a cognisable offence. And a case can be filed against you for not registering an FIR and arresting the accused,” Mr. Adi said.

Mr. Rama also said that this was his second complaint to the police. He had been similarly cheated by his previous employer (although there was no caste atrocity involved) and he had filed a complaint on October 20, 2012. “The man who owes me money is roaming freely but the police do nothing to recover my salary dues from him,” he said.

Teachers’ woes

In another shocking case, 150 government school teachers in Nelamangala told Mr. Adi that they have not got salary increments that were due to them in 1974. The aggrieved teachers, who have formed the Nelamangala Retired Government Employees Association, told Mr. Adi that they became eligible for a salary increment nearly 40 years ago but the office of the Deputy Director of Public Instruction has not yet released the money.

  • Around 150 people from Hoskote and Nelamangala poured out their woes

  • Police taken to task for not registering FIR under SC, ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act