Kerala

Allegation of denying water to families refuted

The allegations of denying drinking water to a few families of Cherukunnu Dalit Colony at Payinkannu in Kuttippuram panchayat for supporting the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) have been found to be false.

The police said here on Friday that the allegations were made by vested interests with the intention of creating communal embitterment in society. Zainuddin, who was accused of discontinuing the drinking water he provided to his Hindu neighbours, said that he had never denied them water.

Mr. Zainuddin, who did not have a well of his own, said that he had told his neighbours to minimise the use because of water shortage and other technical difficulties in pumping water from another man’s borewell.

Mr. Zainuddin had been depending on his neighbour Moideen Kutty alias Moidutty’s borewell for water ever since he started living at Payinkannur. About four months ago, officials of the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) raised objections over the use of the borewell for non-agricultural purposes.

The Jalanidhi drinking water scheme under the block panchayat had become dysfunctional over eight months ago, depriving the 22 Dalit families of the Cherukunnu colony of their drinking water. Since then, all of them were dependent on Mr. Moidutty and Mr. Zainuddin.

When Mr. Moidutty pointed out the KSEB objections, some of the Dalit families stopped taking water from his house. All of the 22 families began depending on the tank maintained by Mr. Zainuddin.

Mr. Zainuddin said that he had told his neighbours to limit the use of water over a week ago. Three of the families from the colony took part in a pro-CAA meeting convened by the BJP at Valanchery on January 17.

However, a campaign soon shaped up alleging denial of drinking water to the Hindu families for supporting the CAA.

Mr. Zainuddin said that his neighbours used to take water from his tank until two days ago even when the campaign against him was taking shape. He said he would never say no to drinking water to anyone.

Meanwhile, some colony residents, seeking anonymity, said that Mr. Zainuddin’s wife had confided in them that there had been pressure on their family to discontinue water to their neighbours.

BJP district president Ravi Thelath, while admitting what Mr. Zainuddin did was an act of kindness, said that there had been pressure on his family to discontinue water to his neighbours. But Mr. Zainuddin denied it.

Meanwhile, the district administration, the police and the revenue department said they would ensure water for the colony within a week.

“It’s not a question of denying water. The issue is that there is no water in the colony,” said a senior revenue officer.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 12:23:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/allegation-of-denying-water-to-families-refuted/article30647938.ece

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