4 Dalit families in Dharwad face social boycott

Four families belonging to scheduled caste communities are facing a social boycott from the upper caste members of Vittalapur village in Kundgol taluk of Dharwad district for the last 11 days.

Members of these families, who belong to the Madiaga community, were assaulted, abused, and their houses damaged by the members of upper caste on February 26, after the victims opposed the placing of ‘Sidagi’ (a bamboo chair used for carrying dead bodies) by the upper caste members at the worshipping place of the SC community.

Though the victims have identified the 15 persons involved in the atrocities, so far no action has been taken against them as the main accused in the case, Virupakshappa Kallimani, is a gram panchayat member and works for a major political party.

Speaking to media persons here on Thursday, Hubballi-Dharwad Vividha Dalith Sangha Samsthegala Mahamandala President Gurunath Ullikashi, in the presence of these dalit families, said, for the first seven days the police officials did not even bother to file a complaint.

“Instead of filing a complaint, the police officials warned the victims and delayed filing of the case,” he said, and added that everyday the accused persons are roaming in the village asking the residents not to give even drinking water to the victims. It was only after eight days after the attack that the police filed a case, he said.

One of the victims Laxmavva Hanamantappa Harijan said, not just adults, the perpetrators did not even spare the children and assaulted them. As a proof, the family also released photos of them attacked and the 'sadagi' being placed in their place of worship.

Ullikashi blamed the police officials and district administration for their inaction. In spite of Minister C S Shivalli and MLA Prasad Abayya instructed the police officials to take action against the accused persons, none of the 15 members have been arrested, Ullikashi said.

He warned that if police do not act against the accused, and the district administration provide the victims basic facilities in next 48 hours, the members of dalit communities will be forced to intensify their protest against untouchability and atrocities against suppressed communities.

Deputy Commissioner Deepa Cholan said that she was informed about the case only on Thursday by the superintendent of police. She said that she has instructed the assistant commissioner to visit the place and resolve the matter amicably.

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4 Dalit families in Dharwad face social boycott

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