Udupi: Septmber 15, 2015: Members of the district committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) staged a dharna in front of the Clock Tower here on Monday against the increasing atrocities on Dalits in the State.
Balakrishna Shetty, secretary of the district committee, said that it was unfortunate that after 68 years of Independence, Dalits were not being allowed entry in a temple in Sigaranahalli village in Holenarsipur taluk, which was part of the Hassan Lok Sabha constituency represented by the former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda. Mr. Gowda’s son and the former Minister, H.D. Revanna, represented the Assembly constituency there.
On September 6, when four Dalit women tried to enter the temple, members of the upper castes opposed it. To protest against this, members of the CPI(M) and progressive thinkers and Dalit leaders decided to hold a “sahabhojana” (meal partaken by all communities) at Sigaranahalli and then enter the temple on September 12.
But the police arrested all the leaders at Hassan and prevented them from going to Siraganahalli.
This was an illegal act, he allged. The police not only arrested but also slapped legal cases against the State Secretary of the CPI(M) G.V. Sriram Reddy, writer J.H. Narayana Swami and journalist Venkatesh Murthy.
Several phases of protests were held against the boycott of Dalits in Malakumbi village in Gangavati taluk of Koppal district. A person Dodda Veeresh, who was a prime witness to the atrocities against Dalits there, had been killed. Though two months had elapsed since his murder, no one had been arrested.
Instead, the police arrested and foisted cases against leaders of CPI(M), who demanded a probe into Veeresh’s murder. The persons against whom the cases were slapped included M.A. Baby, member of the CPI(M) politburo, K. Radhakrishnan, former Minister of Kerala, and Mr. Sriram Reddy. Mr. Shetty alleged that there was an increase in atrocities against Dalits in the State. The Congress government was doing nothing to prevent it, he added.