Dalit family alleges threat to life

Ananth Kattimani, whose family was allegedly attacked by a group of 30 people last month, addressing a press conference in Hubli on Saturday.  

A Dalit family from Balehosur in Shirahatti taluk of Gadag district on Saturday alleged that they were facing a threat to their lives from Dingaleshwar Swami, touted as successor to the Moorusavir Math.

Six members of the family were attacked last month while they working on their farmland. Four of them who suffered multiple fractures are still undergoing treatment at KIMS Hospital here.

Addressing presspersons, siblings Ananth and Ashok Kattimani, who belong to the backward Ghantichor community, alleged that their family was attacked by a group of 30 people on September 26.

Mr. Ananth said that although his family members tried to lodge a complaint with the Laxmeshwar Police, their complaint was not taken as they were told a suo motu case had been registered. “However, when my cousin insisted on giving the complaint, they told him that they would receive it only when the names of Dingaleshwar Swami and Police Inspector of Shirahatti Shrinivas Meti were removed,” he said.

He charged that their only ‘fault’ was that they had objected to encroachment of the lake in Balehosur by Dingaleshwar Swami, and the unauthorised demolition of the houses of six residents to facilitate the expansion of the math’s building in the village.

“We had raised our voice against the encroachment of the lake and subsequently the High Court of Karnataka issued an order on July 5, 2011 directing government officials to restore the lake. In a related case pertaining to the demolition of houses, the High Court recently issued notices to the supporters of the swami. The attempt on our lives is to prevent us from going ahead with the case,” he said.

Mr. Ananth alleged that while the Deputy Commissioner of Gadag had ordered an independent inquiry, the police were trying to hush it up, terming it a “case of dispute over farmland”.

He said that while he had sent a memorandum to the Director-General of Police seeking police protection, and arrest of the swami and his supporters, he would also meet him to air his grievances.

Mr. Ashok claimed they were in constant fear of being attacked.

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Printable version | Apr 18, 2021 5:31:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/dalit-family-alleges-threat-to-life/article6533549.ece

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