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State's Police, admn in castist-fuedal mould: Dalit leaders

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Apr 2 (UNI) The recent torching of houses belonging to Dalits in Mahmadapura-Kunjpura of Haryana and the protection accorded to those responsible for it is a clear manifestation of casteist and feudal mindset of the police and administration, the anti-Dalit Atrocities Coordination Committee has alleged.

The Committee, in its report on the February 13 incident, said, ''Ashes of Dalit basti set on fire in Gohana were still smouldering when many a new Dalit bastis got caught in the cauldron of Dalit oppression in Hayrana- the land deeply immersed in casteism and fendal mentality.'' None of the accused in Mahmadapura incident has been arrested even after a week of its occurrance. On the contrary, some Dalits were framed under false cases, arrested, tortured and pressurised in the name of compromise between the two groups of people in the village, the report alleged.

''If the guilty of were bailed out when the landless, jobless and halpless Dalits who are deprived of security, compensation and medical assistance run from pillar to the post, is an ample testimony on the anti-Dalit nature of the state establishment. And it was all the more strage, when the ruling Congress claims itself as Dalit-friendly party,'' Mr Anil Chamardia and Mr Subhash Gatade, the Committee members who visited the village, said.

Narrating the incident, Mr Gatade, Mr Chamardia and Mr Mangat Ram Sahotra-who authored the report, said Dalits in Mahmadapura village were making preparations for procession on occasion of Ravi Das Jayanti on February 13, an event performed every year. But, the dominating feudal classes of the village created uncertainty and tension.

And, thereafter, police officials, who went to the village to restore peace, openly enjoyed the hospitality of the upper caste and 'colluded' with the latter in their resorting to vandalism that resulted in smashing of statues of Dr Ambedkar and Bhagar Ravi Das, they charged.

The Dalits were subjected to atrocities in the incidents and some of them were injured but were ignored by the authorities. No medico-legal report of severely injured was recorded and neither did the police resgister a case under the Schedule Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

On the contrary, police arrested 13 Dalits. As a result, the terrified families fled the village to nearby Karnal city and sought refuge under open sky in a park.

Since then, a number of politicians had visited them and administration has been forcing them for a compromise even as the village sarpanch and other members of the dominating uppper caste people have hurling open threats that none of the 150 odd Dalit families of the village would be allowed to resettle down in their houses, the leaders alleged.

The Committee has demanded that the government create a genuine security environment for the Dalits and also compensate them for injuries and loss of property.

UNI JSS SC LR RK1220

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