Vittal, father released, to stay in forest

Vittal, father released, to stay in forest

Vittal, father released, to stay in forest

“I shall not leave my village neither will I evict the forest. I shall continue to fight for the rights of the tribals who are forcefully made to evict the forest by the government in the name of development,” said Vittal Malekudiya, who was released on conditional bail from the District Jail on Thursday.

Vittal Malekudiya, a post-graduation student of Mass Communications and Journalism from the Mangalore University and his father Linganna Malekudiya were imprisoned for more than four months for their alleged links with naxalites. The Judicial Magistrate First Class court on Tuesday granted conditional bail to Vittal Malekudiya and his father Linganna Malekudiya as the police failed to file chargesheet against them even after 90 days of their arrest.

Vittal denied having links with the naxals. “I am being punished for voicing my opinion against the atrocities on Dalits,” he said.

Replying to a query on writing his post graduation exams in custody, Vittal said that the exams were easy and he hopes to pass. “I want to continue with my education. However, I faced inconvenience as I got my books few days prior to the examination,” he says.

Vittal said that people who fall ill in the jail are made to suffer as they are not provided treatment in time. “I and my father were suffering with Malaria. However, we received treatment in the last minute,” he regretted.

Linganna Malekudiya complained that the Anti Naxal Force has tortured him physically and mentally. “I cannot walk without the support of crutches. I was the only earning member in the family. I feel sad thinking about the financial difficulties my wife and daughter had to face, because of my arrest,” he said.

DYFI District President Munir Katipalla said that the ANF has to be dissolved as their atrocities on tribals have been increasing. “We shall continue to fight for the rights of the Dalits and the tribals who are made to evict their homes for the proposed Bhadra tiger reserve project. Vittal’s release is the victory of justice, he added.

Celebrations

Crackers were burst and a floral welcome was extended to Vittal and Linganna Malekudiya immediately after they stepped out from the jail. Mandd Shobhann Gurkaar Eric Ozario distributed sweets. A huge group of supporters from Communist Party of India (Marxist), Democratic Youth Federation of India and Students Federation of India shouted slogans against the ANF and the police.

Vittal was taken to Kuthlur in a taxi. His supporters accompanied him in a bike rally.
Warm welcome Vittal’s mother Honnamma welcomed her son and husband with garlands. Vittal’s release will be celebrated grandly in the village on Friday.

The court has directed the father-son duo to furnish a security bond for Rs 50,000 each and directed them to appear before Venur police station every Sunday.

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