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Atrocities: top officials debunk reports

Staff Correspondent

It was stated that 26 families fled Budihalli in Chitradurga district because of harassment



Deputy Commissioner Amlan Aditya Biswas addressing a press conference in Chitradurga on Friday.

Chitradurga: Deputy Commissioner Amlan Aditya Biswas and Superintendent of Police Labhu Ram on Friday denied that Dalit women were subjected to atrocities at Budihalli in Challakere taluk.

Addressing a joint press conference here, they said reports in this regard in a section of the press were far from the truth.

It had been reported that 26 families fled the village as they could not bear the “atrocities” of a few people belonging to other communities.

Mr. Biswas said that following the reports the district administration constituted a fact-finding committee, comprising the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Assistant Commissioner, tahsildar, the district Social Welfare Officer and the circle police inspector.

He said the committee members spoke to the Dalits and prepared a 14-page report.

According to the report, the 26 families left the village to earn more and not because they were victimised. Moreover, the families left the village at different intervals and at one go.

Quoting the report, Mr. Biswas said that of the 26 families, two left the village about a year ago and they were now employed in a poultry farm on outskirts of the town, three families working as daily wage labourers were staying in rented houses in the same town, six families were still in Budihalli saying they were happy there, some others had migrated to nearby villages, while nine families recently shifted to Venkateshwar Extension in Challakere.

“The only complaint of these nine families was people of other communities used abusive words, and when asked to name them so that action could be taken, nobody came forward,” he said.

Mr. Biswas gave a list of 24 Dalit families, among the 26, who owned agricultural land varying from one acre to five acres.

Wages

On allegations that payments to Dalits who were given work under MGREGA were not made, he said that 75 per cent of the payment had already been made and the rest would be made soon.

Assistant Commissioner T. Venkatesh, who was part of the team, said that many of the families left the villages voluntarily to earn more.

“As the wage is higher in the towns, they left the village. A good number of them have leased out their land”, he said.

He said that the nine families that were staying in Challakere actually fled the village fearing arrest after a fight broke out between people of the same community over a petty issue.

Mr. Venkatesh said that in the past, the Government had agreed to allot sites to some 22 families, but many of them refused to accept the “Hakku Patra” (title deeds) as they wanted sites in forest land, which was not possible. “However, two families have already built houses on sites given to them,” he pointed out.

Mr. Labhu Ram said: “I get calls at midnight even when there is a minor incident connected to Dalits in the district, then how is it possible that the police did not get information if such a big incident had taken place.”

He said that so far no person from the Dalit community had filed a report of atrocity, rape or social boycott.

“We are ready to register cases and arrest the culprit if case is filed,” he said.

Terming the reports baseless, Mr. Labhu Ram promised that security would be provided to Dalits.

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