Dalit outfits plan protest rally in Kalaburagi demanding action against Raichur judge

A portrait of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar being removed from the dais before hoisting of the national flag during Republic Day celebrations at the district court in Raichur on January 26, 2022.
Special Correspondent January 29, 2022 15:20 IST
Updated: January 29, 2022 15:27 IST

Participants are expected to demand removal of Principal District and Sessions Judge Mallikarjun Gouda from service and stringent legal action against him

Dalit and progressive organisations have planned a massive rally in Kalaburagi on January 31 to condemn the removal of a portrait of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar from the dais during the 73rd Republic Day celebrations in the premises of the district court on Raichur, and demand legal action against Principal District and Sessions Judge Mallikarjun Gouda, who had allegedly got the portrait removed before hoisting the national flag.

Addressing a media conference in Kalaburagi on January 29, Vittal Doddamani, a senior Dalit leader, said that the protest march would commence from Nagareshwar School in Gunj and culminate at the district administrative complex.

He said that removal of Mr. Gouda from service and stringent legal action against him would be the major demands.


“Removing Dr. B.R. Ambedkar’s portrait before hosting the national flag is an insult not just to the architect of the Indian Constitution but to the entire nation. The Principal District and Sessions Judge, who got the portrait removed before he hoisted the national flag, is responsible for this grave misconduct. He should immediately be removed from service and legal action be imitated against him... On the same day, the Kalaburagi district administration celebrated Republic Day without placing the portraits of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhiji. District In-charge Minister Murugesh Nirani, who hoisted the national flag, was evasive when asked about it. He should immediately be dropped from the Council of Ministers,” Mr. Doddamani said.

Malleshi Sajjan, a senior lawyer, appealed to the Chief Justice of Karnataka to give permission for prosecuting the Raichur judge who, he said, had tarnished judicial sanctity.

“The High Court’s prior permission is required to prosecute a judicial officer, and the process for obtaining it is on. The Raichur judge had not just failed to discharge his duties as a responsible judicial officer but tarnished the image and sanctity of the judiciary by insulting the architect of the Indian Constitution. The people of the country may lose faith in the judiciary if no action is taken against erring judicial officers,” Mr. Sajjan said.

Arjun Bhadre, a Dalit leader, said that removal of Dr. Ambedkar’s portrait during Republic Day celebrations was part of a well-thought-out design by right-wing forces to make Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and his thoughts irrelevant.

“Right-wing forces led by RSS [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh] are gaining an upper hand, and controlling politics in India. The BJP governments in the State and Centre are following diktats from the RSS headquarters,” he said.

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