Tense Atmosphere Prevails In The Village In Tumakuru As Dalits Bury A Dead On Government Land

Dalit families maintain vigil at the grave of T Hanumantharayappa (inset) in Byrenahalli of Koratagere taluk, Tumakuru district
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Dalit families maintain vigil at the grave of T Hanumantharayappa (inset) in Byrenahalli of Koratagere taluk, Tumakuru district

Highlights

  • The family of a deceased man buried his body on government land, alleging they had no other option.
  • They placed the dead on government land in survey no. 1 when they didn't, but upper-caste people attempted to prevent them.

The long-pending request for a separate burial cemetery for Dalits in Byrenahalli, Koratagere taluk, Tumakuru district, sparked tensions on Thursday when the family of a deceased man buried his body on government land, alleging they had no other option.

This sparked a fight between Dalits and upper-caste individuals, with the latter threatening to disinter the dead and the grieving family standing guard at the grave to prevent it.

T Hanumantharayappa, 57, died at Byrenahalli on Wednesday. Since the Dalit family did not own land on which to bury him, they approached the local elders for assistance.

The Byrenahalli Dalit colony is made up of 100 families, 90 of whom are landless. Lakshmikantha BS, Hanumantharayappa's nephew, said that by the side of NH-234, we used to bury the dead of our neighbours and relatives. Moreover, the elders refused to bury Hanumantharayappa there, so they requested that the village officials find another location for us. They placed the dead on government land in survey no. 1 when they didn't, but upper-caste people attempted to prevent them.

Tahsildar Nahida Zam Zam said he went to the public burial cemetery and instructed Dalit families to bury their loved ones on the 20 guntas that are currently being cleaned. If someone has any objections, they should bring them to my attention, and I will address them. Meanwhile, Dalit activist Venkatesh Murthy claims that the tahsildar wants them to bury remains on upper castes' graveyards, which will inevitably result to fights.

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