Wednesday, Nov 19, 2003
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By G. Nagaraja
The worker, who chose the premises of the Denduluru police station for executing his suicide plan in the late hours of Monday on the eve of a visit by the DIG of Police, Eluru Range, C.V. Narasaiah, is battling for life in intensive care unit at the government hospital here. Venkateswara Rao reportedly consumed poison and collapsed in front of the police station even as the DIG was scheduled to arrive there in a few hours.
According to information, a social boycott was imposed on the family of Venkateswara Rao for his failure to toe the line of caste elders in a case of love affair in which his elder son, Balaswamy, was allegedly involved. When the case came up for `trial' before the caste panchayat, the community elders ordered Venkateswara Rao to be present before them on Thursday night. When the village servant informed him of the directives of the caste elders, Venkateswara Rao expressed helplessness to appear before the caste panchayat as he was ill. "I never intended to defy my caste elders. What I requested them was to permit me to appear before them the next day morning,'' the worker said from his sick bed while recalling, "By then had come the announcement of the boycott through a tom-tom by the village servant''.
As the writ came into force, the family was denied work and even social contact. The elders had allegedly warned that if anybody from the community talked to the Venkateswara Rao's family, he would be fined. The victim's brother, Ranga Rao, said efforts to draw the attention of the police from the next day after the incident proved to be of no avail. The victim lodged a complaint in the Denduluru police station and submitted copies of the complaint to the Eluru DSP and the SP, K. Rajaratnam Naidu, seeking action against the perpetrators of the boycott, but no help came forth from any quarter, Ranga Rao said.
According to Ranga Rao, caste elders do have a say in each and every private affair of the community members, be it a dispute between wife and husband, extra-marital relationship or property dispute. The fine imposed by the elders on the `accused' ranges up to Rs 25,000, Ranga Rao added.
Meanwhile, Balaswamy, son of the victim, denied having any love affair with a girl from his own community as alleged by caste elders.
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