Tuesday, March 22, 2011

[ZESTCaste] Caste' Hindus boycott Dalits in Hosapura


Karnataka - Mysore

Caste' Hindus boycott Dalits in Hosapura

Special Correspondent

MYSORE: The scourge of untouchability has raised its ugly head in
Hosapura village of Malavalli taluk, Mandya district, where a group of
'caste' Hindus allegedly created ruckus over the appointment of a
Dalit as a valve-man.

The incident took place early last week and threatened to split the
community on caste lines. Police have arrested three persons in this
connection but this served only to escalate the tension as 'caste'
Hindus questioned the "temerity" of the Dalits to lodge a police
complaint against them.

Source said the genesis of the tension could be traced to the decision
of the Gram Panchayat Secretary Siddaraju, who appointed Venkatesh, a
Dalit as the valve man to release water to the village. When a group
of persons saw Venkatesh releasing water, they raised a hue and cry on
the "propriety" of using the water released by a "Dalit valve-man",
said sources.

As a result, tension built up in the village and a section of the
aggrieved community lodged a police complaint, following which three
persons, identified as Shivu, Basavaraj and Prakash were arrested and
later released on bail. Irked by the "audacity" of the Dalit
community, they have been allegedly boycotted by people from other
communities, sources said.

However, Shivaramu, Social Welfare Officer of Mandya told The Hindu
that he had visited the village and inquired into the incident which
presented a different picture.

He said the village community had strong political affiliations and
was split along party lines. "It transpired that the appointment of a
Dalit was not the issue. The warring groups wanted one of their
confidantes to be given the job of the valve-man. However, a few
outside elements gave a caste twist to the appointment of Mr.
Venkatesh, which led to tension following which three persons were
arrested and later released on bail", Mr. Shivaramu said.

"I visited the village twice after the incident was reported and the
allegations of Dalits being denied work in agricultural farms was
false. Landlords and landless labourers are mutually dependent and one
could not do without the other," he added. Mr. Shivaramu said the
situation was now under control and the district administration has
ensured supply of groceries and other essential commodities to the
Dalit colony.


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