KARNATAKA

People urged to help prevent untouchability

CHITRADURGA, MARCH 24. S.R. Umashankar, Deputy Commissioner, has urged public to extend unrestricted entry into all places of worship, hotels, and other public places to eradicate social evils.

Chairing a meeting of the committee on the welfare of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes here on Wednesday, he said that steps have to be taken to prevent the practice of untouchability.

Awareness

Awareness about the ill effects of this practice should be created. People should be educated about the legal implications of the practice, as it is a punishable offence, he said.

Though around 175 cases of atrocities on Scheduled Castes have been registered over the past five years in the district, no one has been punished. Awarding punishments will serve as a deterrent, he added.

The chief executive officer of the zilla panchayat, Narayanaswamy, expressed concern as the offenders were allowed to go scot-free.

The meeting unanimously approved Mr. Narayanaswamy's proposal and decided to urge the Government to engage advocates belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes to defend the victims.

M. Jayanna, convener of Dalit Sangharsh Samiti, alleged that the police do not cooperate while registering complaints and sometimes try to manipulate the cases.

The Superintendent of Police, B. Dayanand, promise to take action against such officers, if the details of specific complaints with regard to non-registering of cases and manipulating of cases are brought to his notice.

K.B. Mallikarjunappa, District Social Welfare Officer, said that the Government has to release Rs. 43.30 lakhs as compensation in 174 cases till now. However, only Rs. 20 lakhs has been released thus far, he said.

S.H. Vijay Kumar, headquarters assistant to the Deputy Commissioner; D. Borappa, founder of Madakari Education Society; and M. Chandranna, labour leader, were present on the occasion.

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