Mangaluru, May 18, 2015: A dalit family, on a protest since May 13, y ended the dharna for mercy death, which they held in front of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) in the city. The protest was withdrawn after Mangaluru City South MLA JR Lobo convened a meeting to discuss the same.
Prakash, dealer of HPCL outlet in Mudigere and a resident of Kaup in Udupi district, went on a protest along with his wife, two children and family members in front of the HPCL office in Chilimbi from May 13. Prakash, who was sanctioned a petrol pump under the SC quota in 2007, said that the company stopped the oil supply to his outlet, citing there was an overdue of Rs 25 lakh.
MLA Lobo, convened a meeting in his office with Mahesh Kumar, senior regional manager of HPCL and other officials. Prakash told the MLA that he does not owe money to the company and he said it was a the middleman who cheated the corporation. "I have filed a complaint to the civil rights enforcement cell in this regard on January 1, 2014. Thereafter, another complaint was also filed with the SP of Chikkamagaluru after I received a threatening call. I have requested the HPCL officials to file a complaint against the middleman, who cheated us. Let them supply petrol and diesel so that I can solve my financial problems. My family has been put to hardship after the petrol pump was shut down by the company on November 27, 2013. I have no other option but to seek mercy killing," Prakash said.
MLA Lobo suggested that the company look into Prakash’s case on humanitarian grounds."First, the government sanctions petrol bunks through special schemes for SC communities for their empowerment. In this case, Prakash has complained that the money was siphoned by another person. Hence, the company may consider supplying minimum quantity of petrol and diesel to Prakash’s outlet," the MLA said, requesting company officials to write to their higher authorities. On the suggestions of the MLA, Prakash and his family withdrew their protest.