Violence as tribal people damage fishermen camp

Inclusion in ST category for quota benefit is the bone of contention

February 06, 2018 01:02 am | Updated 01:02 am IST - SRIKAKULAM

 The fishermen community’s relay hunger strike camp goes up in flames after it was ransacked by tribal people.

The fishermen community’s relay hunger strike camp goes up in flames after it was ransacked by tribal people.

Violence erupted at the Srikakulam Collector’s office on Monday as tribal people and fishermen clashed over the sensitive reservation issue.

The tribals, who numbered more than 5,000, destroyed the relay hunger strike camp of the fishermen community which also sought the ST status as it was promised by the Telugu Desam Party during 2014 elections.

The tribal people led by various organisations came to the Collectorate to ask the government not to include the fishermen, the Boya and the Valmiki communities in the ST category since it would be harm their interests. The tribal leaders said the agitation would be observed in a peaceful manner but some angry youngsters tried to indulge in physical attacks on the fishermen. When the attack took place at 2.40 pm, only 20 persons were in the camp which had been continuing for the last two months.

The youngsters set ablaze chairs and banners. The police officials, who did not anticipate the violence, swiftly reacted and saved the fishermen from physical harm. Srikakulam SP CM Trivikarma Varma and DSPs Ch.Penta Rao and V.Bhimarao ruhed to the spot with additional forces and brought the situation under control at around Tribals from various places including Sithampet, Patapatnam, Palakonda and other areas organised the rally from the Old Bus Stand to the Collector’s office. People continued to come till afternoon.

Some of them carried arrows in the traditional manner and warned that the government would face music if it did not withdraw its proposals immediately.

Leaders of the tribal organisations B. Tejeswara Rao, A. Manmadha Rao and others submitted a detailed memorandum explaining their grievances.

Fishermen community leader Chintapalli Suryanarayana condemned destruction of their camp. He said the community was organising agitations in a peaceful manner to seek the government’s attention over its electoral promise to it on the ST status.

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