Eight-member panel to conduct probe
Tensions prevailed in Garagaparru village of Palakoderu mandal in West Godavari district on Saturday, following the agitations by Dalits and upper caste women in the village.
Eluru: Tensions prevailed in Garagaparru village of Palakoderu mandal in West Godavari district on Saturday, following the agitations by Dalits and upper caste women in the village.
It may be recalled that as many as 800 families of Dalit community are facing a social boycott by upper-caste people in the village from last two months. The Hans India has exposed the plight of the Dalits following the social boycott.
Tense moments were seen as Dalits in the village gheraoed Undi MLA Vetukuri Siva Ramaraju, who reached the village to resolve the problem. “After 45 days of social boycott, you came to our village. After the media exposed our plights, you came to the village and consoling us. You have backed up the upper-caste people as they are belong to your caste. We are starving over the last 45 days,” fumed irate Dalits.
The MLA’s attempts to convince them despite assuring justice went in vein. Vetukuri bore the brunt of the anger of Dalits.
Meanwhile, former MP Harsha Kumar, Andhra Pradesh Dalita Mahasabha president Katti Padma Rao and other leaders also reached the village.
The Dalit leaders questioned the officials over the issue. Former MP Harsha Kumar fired on the officials and took police to task for not registering FIR even after the Dalits complained about the social boycott. “I will file a complaint with SC commission,” he warned.
Later, collector K Bhaskar reached the village around 3.30 PM and held discussions with Dalits and upper-caste leaders. Terming the case as very sensitive, the collector said, “I will resolve the issue. I have directed tahsildar to submit report. I will appoint a committee of eight with four from Dalit Colony and four from upper caste,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the women of upper caste staged a road blockade on busy Bhimavaram – Pippara stretch in the afternoon before the collector’s arrival. They contended that the media presented false news and there was no social boycott of Dalits in the village. When MLA Sivaramaraju reached the spot, they gheraoed him in rain, later they attack an intelligence constable mistaking him to be a media person. With this, police intervened, which led to a minor scuffle.