One among Dalit protesters dies

HASSAN, AUG. 21. One among the 91 Dalits who have been staging a protest by putting up huts in the reserve forest area in Arkalgud taluk died recently.

According to reports reaching here, the man who died was Javaraiah (55). Dalit leaders said that though he was not keeping well, he had stayed in the hut in the forest area in protest against the apathy of the Government in rehabilitating the Dalits. His health deteriorated with exposure to the rain and cold weather. Javaraiah had participated in the ongoing protest for 55 days. Javaraiah's body was brought to Gangooru. There was no burial ground to perform the last rites. His body was later buried in "kuluvadike" (endowment) land, sources said.

The district administration has sanctioned work for the Dalits under the food-for-work scheme that is being implemented by the tahsildar. The officials of the taluk panchayat are not prepared to take up the work in light of the recent rice scam.

The Arkalgud MLA, A.T. Ramaswamy, told presspersons recently that the taluk administration had identified land for the rehabilitation of the Dalits and the work of examining the documents was on.