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Official residence of Belgaum commissioner attacked

Staff Correspondent

Youths attack the premises after official's alleged `anti-Dalit' remarks



AFTER THE ATTACK: Police guarding the official residence of Commissioner of Belgaum City Corporation, which was attacked by Dalit youth on Wednesday night.

BELGAUM: The official residence of Belgaum City Corporation Commissioner K.D. Birje was attacked allegedly by Dalit youths here late on Wednesday night.

It is reported that the Dalit youths protested after the Commissioner allegedly used abusive language against Dalits, and did not consider their request to illuminate the Dr. B.R. Ambedkar garden in the city to mark the golden jubilee of Dr. Ambedkar taking "Boudh Diksha" 50 years ago.

According to Mallesh Chougale, district president of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Jayanti Utsav Mahamandal, a memorandum with a request to illuminate the garden and the Dr. Ambedkar's statue inside it on Wednesday was submitted to the Commissioner a fortnight ago.

Dalits have been observing "Diksha Diwas" all over the country to commemorate the day when Dr. Ambedkar embraced Buddhism.

When Mr. Chougale reportedly called up the Commissioner requesting him to provide illumination to the statue and garden on Wednesday, the latter allegedly abused Dalits.

On learning about this, some youths went to the official residence of the Commissioner in Visvesvarayanagar and damaged the glass panes attached to main door and a bulb in the portico. Another group went to the Ambedkar garden and damaged a chair and windowpanes of Corporation's office there.

Incidentally, Mr. Birje is not residing in his quarters, but is living in a separate house in Doordarshan Nagar.

Mr. Chougale and other Dalit leaders rushed to the spot and pacified the protestors and assured them of launching an agitation demanding the suspension and transfer of the Commissioner.

A meeting in this regard has been convened on Sunday.

When contacted, the APMC Police said no case has been registered in connection with the incident.

Neither is there any complaint from the Corporation Commissioner.

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