Lax action in response to violence against Dalits in Nelamangala village: Report

The report also states that bonded labour is still being practised in Kachakanahalli.  

A fact-finding study of a recent attack on a Dalit community by an ‘upper’ caste in Kachakanahalli, Nelamangala, on the outskirts of Bengaluru, has not only found lax punitive action by district administration, but also a wide prevalence of discriminatory practices in the village.

The report says that Dalits are not allowed into any of the five temples in the village and bonded labour is still practised in the village. The report has recommended launching a temple entry campaign in the village. The fact finding was organised by All India People’s Forum.

The report alleges that a group of around 50-60 ‘upper’ caste men (Vokkaligas) barged into the Dalit (Madiga) lane in the village and attacked people, injuring many, on the night of September 8. This was preceded by a man from the Vokkaliga community threatening a Dalit youth who was trying to organise the community to defy the dictate of the ‘upper’ castes in the village.

Fixed pattern of violence

“There is a grainy video of the attack recorded on a mobile phone. Though the video is not clear, the audio is clear with people calling for attacks on Dalits,” the report stated. In the last decade alone, there have been three other such attacks by ‘upper’ castes against Dalits in the village. “However, all cases were compromised,” the report observed, arguing there was a pattern to caste violence in the village that had gone unchecked.

Police delay

The report says there was a five-hour delay in police arriving at the village, before which the village panchayat members tried to broker a compromise between the two groups, which the Dalits rejected.

Nelamangala Assembly constituency is reserved for Scheduled Castes and its MLA K. Srinivas Murthy from JD(S), however, intervened in “an attempt to persuade the victims and their community to settle for a compromise and drop the case against the aggressors,” the report further stated.

It went on to recommend action against him for obstructing justice.

However, the MLA, speaking to The Hindu, denied the allegation and said he has always sided with the victims and would stand by them in the future too.

Section 307

The report also alleges lax action by Bengaluru Rural district police and stated they did not register a case under Section 307 of the Indian Penal Code for attempt to murder and that the FIR only mentions 11 of over 50 people who were part of the attack.

Ravi D. Channannavar, SP, Bengaluru Rural, said Section 307 had already been added to the FIR, and though the FIR may have not named all the 50, they will be identified and arrested “in due course of the probe,” he said.

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Printable version | May 11, 2021 9:58:35 PM |

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