Peace committee meeting over alleged boycott of Dalits

Representational image of Khanapur taluk in Belagavi district.

Representational image of Khanapur taluk in Belagavi district. | Photo Credit: P.K. Badiger

Senior officers held a peace committee meeting in Chikka Munavalli village near Khanapur in Belagavi district, after allegations surfaced of boycott of Dalits.

Dalit leaders accused the Gram Devata temple committee of discriminating against women from the Dalit community.

“Some Savarna women and the temple priest did not allow Dalit women to enter the temple during Udi Tumbo Habba in the temple on Friday. The priest also refused to apply vermilion to Dalit women. When some young Dalit activists tried to object to this, the temple committee leaders said that we were not invited to the event,’’ Ramesh Kamble, DSS leader said.

“We raised several issues in the meeting. Officers have assured us that necessary action will be taken against the offenders”, he said.

Police and revenue officials met members of two groups and heard them. Officers assured that action will be taken.

Assistant Commissioner Ravindra Karilingannanavar told the villagers to live in harmony and avoid such incidents. “Discriminating against any person on the basis of caste, religion, race or gender is a punishable offence. It is also against the Constitutionally guaranteed principle of equality,’’ he said.

Shivanand Katagi, Deputy SP, said that the police would not hesitate to take action against any person who was found involved in cognisable offences.

Uma Saligoudar, Deputy Director of social welfare said that the men and women from oppressed classes should be treated with human dignity and given equal access to public spaces.

Chamanna Dhareppa, another person who was present in the meeting said that a few weeks ago, Dalits were barred from visiting barber shops in the village. “When we complained against this to the police and Teheshildar, they refused to entertain our petitions,’’ he alleged. He said that the AC and DySP assured the Dalits that cases would be registered against the persons who were involved in such offences, if any victims approached the police stations.

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Printable version | Jun 25, 2022 12:59:07 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/peace-committee-meeting-over-alleged-boycott-of-dalits/article65472733.ece