#India – Sub Inspector – an eye witness to the brutal assault on dalits


SI of Kesara police station Mr Venkat was an eye witness to the brutal assault on dalits. – Human Rights Forum

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To

The District Collector and Magistrate

Ranga Reddy district, Hyderabad

Dear Madam

Sub: Attack on dalits (Madigas) of Rampally Dayara JNNURM Colony- assistance to victims of attack-regarding.

You are aware that more than 10 dalits of JNNURM Colony of Rampally Dayara in Keesara mandal of Ranga Reddy district were injured in an attack on them by persons belonging to non-dalit castes of Ramapally Dayara village on May 1 and 2, 2013.

In the JNNURM Colony, Ms. Balamma of Rampally Dayara runs a belt shop which is located very close to the houses of the dalits. Inebriated customers have been creating nuisance for the past one year to which the family of Mr. Indrala Kalyan,a dalit resident of the colony belonging to the Madiga caste, have been objecting. The dalits had even a lodged a complaint in the matter at the local Kesara police station exactly a year ago on 4 May 2012. The owners of the shops have the support of Mr. Kandadi Anji Reddy and Mr Kandadi Srinivas Reddy of Rampally Dayara, the main accused in the attack of last week. While Mr. Angi Reddy is the mandal president of TDP, Mr Srinivas Reddy is the former upa-sarpanch.

Most people living in the JNNURM Colony were earlier residents of various parts of the city, having shifted as benificiaries of the JNNURM scheme. None of them are economically secure and get by on daily wage labour. Over the past three years, the dalits have been at the receiving end of dominant treatment by the OCs and BCs of Rampally Dayara.

On May 1, Mr. Kalyan had an argument with Mr. Gunda Yadesh, an OC person who runs a kirana store in the colony. The same day, Ms Balamma, the owner of the belt shop came to Mr. Kalyan’s house along with some youth and threatened and injured his mother Ms Eswaramma. Mr. Kalyan’s brother, Mr. Sridhar, who is employed at Nizamabad, came down the next day and went to the police station to lodge a complaint against Mr. Yadesh and Ms Balamma. The latter also filed a counter case against Mr. Kalyan. Meanwhile, Mr. Anji Reddy and Mr Srinivas Reddy brought pressure on the police for a compromise and held discussions with Mr. Sridhar in the premises of the police station. They sought dropping of the case against Mr Yadesh and Ms Balamma but the dalits refused.

While this was going on, around 20 persons belonging to Rampally Dayara went to the JNNURM colony and attacked Mr. Anthony, Jyothi, (Kalyan’s wife) and Eswaramma. Mr Anthony suffered serious injuries to the head. The assailants abused the dalits invoking their Madiga caste in the filthiest of words. Terrified dalit women ran from their homes and hid in the burial ground nearby. One of the dalits immediately called Mr. Sridhar who was in the police station at the time. He in turn informed the same to the police. Two constables and later the SI of police Mr Venkat rushed to the colony but this did not deter a second attack by a group of over a 100 who arrived on motorcyles armed with sticks and iron rods. They were  led by Mr. Anji Reddy and Mr Srinivas Reddy. This time they injured over 8 persons including Mr. Kalyan and Mr. Sridhar and several women. They also threatened the dalit women with rape. In the second attack which took place around 10 pm, the SI of Kesara police station Mr Venkat was an eye witness to the brutal assault on dalits. We have to say that the police’s willingness to facilitate a compromise between the attackers and dalits in the initial stage emboldened the former to go for all out attack on the dalits.

Following this brutal assault, the police initially filed the FIR only under the section 307 of the IPC. However, on the evening of May 5 they invoked sections of the SC and SC (POA) Act 1989 which are clearly attracted.

The injured dalits are being treated at the Vijaya Hospital in Naagaram. The condition of Mr. Anthony, who sustained a fairly deep laceration on the head is cause for concern. Mr. Sridhar who sustained multiple fractures on his right hand requires surgery and is still waiting for clearance of Arogyasri. All the six dalits in hospital are unable to meet medical and other expenses and as such this is impacting their thorough treatment negatively. Till date, except the MRO no government official has even visited the victims.

We urge you to intervene immediately and extend all possible help to the dalit victims and their families. Kindly make arrangements for their comprehensive treatment. We also request you appoint a district level officer immediately to supervise the process of extending financial, medical and legal aid to the victims of the attack.

Do issue orders to extern from the district for two years those persons who led the attack on dalits of the JNNURM Colony. This is exssential because, given their social, political and economic clout, their presence in the area will certainly influence the prosecution process to the detriment of the dalits. We also urge you to recommend to the government and Election Commission to ban these persons from contesting elections in future.

Lastly, it must be pointed out that inspite of frequent and repeated instances of attacks on dalits and various ‘forms of untouchability’ being practised in Ranga Reddy district, the respective villages have not been notified duly as ‘atrocity-prone’.

K. Murali                                                                       V.S. Krishna

Member, State Committee                                  General Secretary

Human Rights Forum                                          Human Rights Fourm

 

 

The entire village watched silently


The place inside the house of Govindaraju where Suvarna (inset) was forced to hang herself to death by her own father.

The place inside the house of Govindaraju where Suvarna (inset) was forced to hang herself to death by her own father.

January 14, 2012 By Praveen Kumar

No one came to Suvarna’s rescue. We were the only three women who saw the entire honour killing. “There were around 10 men, including her father beating her and finally hanging her to death. The entire village watched silently,” recalled 70-year-old Tholasamma, Govindaraju’s mother and his sister-in-law Thayamma.

Tholasamma and her two daughters-in-law, Thayamma and Mangala Gowri, are the main eye witnesses to the honour killing.

“Suvarna kept requesting her father and others to spare her and allow her to go away from the village with Govindaraju. But they only told her she deserved to be killed as she had brought dishonour to their caste by falling in love with a lower caste youth,” said Tholasamma and Thayamma. The three women ran out of the house with the children fearing that they too would be killed. ”

Till date, we do not know where our father-in-law is. Mangala Gowri is taking shelter elsewhere and we have no news about her.My two small children, including a two-year-old, are staying at different places. It has been several days since I have seen them,” added Thayamma, recalling that she had advised Govindaraju to forget Suvarna because of their caste differences.

“He had even left the village two months before the incident. But the girl was not ready to live withou him although she was engaged to someone else. More than the relationship between the two, what mattered to Suvarna’s father was their caste,” she said disdainfully. Her own life has clearly turned upside down since the incident.

I have never seen anyone being killed this way

“I will never ever return to my village where Suvarna was killed in the most barbaric way by her father and others,” said 27-year-old Govindaraju, also called Gundda , pouring his heart out to Deccan Chronicle on Thursday.

The location of the meeting will be kept a secret on his request as he believes his life too is under threat from Suvarna’s father and family.

Govindaraju belongs to the Madiga caste, considered the most oppressed and exploited. Suvarna, who did not care that he belonged to a lower caste while she herself was a Vokkaliga, was in love with him for five years. Although this did not go down well with her family, the couple never dreamed their love affair would meet such a gruesome end.

“Even in the most violent of films I have never come across any person being killed the way Suvarna was. She was dragged by her legs on the concrete road and beaten with wooden logs. She was brought to my house and asked to commit suicide by hanging. When she did not, she was killed by hanging. How can any father kill his daughter this way? I want these people to be punished for Suvarna’s soul to rest in peace. Like all other lovers, we were in love. I agree that we belonged to different castes. But what has her father gained by killing his daughter,” he lamented.

“Had the police acted fast on November 6, when Suvarna was being murdered, she would be alive today. My brother, K Thimappa, had rushed to the Koppa police station and informed the police about the tension in our village while Suvarna and I were being beaten. If the police had reacted fast, she would not have been killed,” he maintained.

Although he managed to escape through the sugarcane fields behind his house, he found it difficult to run as he was badly beaten.

“I had to drag on till I found a lorry transporting sugarcane. I reached the main road with the help of the driver and from there I came to my relative’s house on the outskirts of Bengaluru. If I had not escaped, I too would have been killed the same day,” he shuddered, unwilling to emerge from hiding as he is certain that will be as good as signing his own death warrant.

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