Monday, June 28, 2004

Dalits seek justice in Bangalore

Maya Sharma

Monday, June 28, 2004:

A public hearing of the atrocities on Dalits was held in Bangalore before a jury.

Victims of discrimination and abuse from around Karnataka spoke of what they had been through and the troubles they were facing.

The jury consisted of retired justice, political and social scientists.

Brutal torture

The victims spoke of being beaten up by upper caste villagers because they sat and ate the food being served at a village festival.

After the incident, their water supply was cut off and they were not allowed to go near the lake. A fine of Rs 5,000 was also announced if anybody helped these people.

Still under threat

In another case, two schoolgirls from villages in the Kolar district were raped. The man who committed these crimes is still at large and has been threatening the families.

"Blood was running down her legs � she walked with great difficulty for two kilometers, crying all the way. They have given him bail and he is out of jail. Now he follows the children closely on his tractor - abuses them and threatens to kill them," said the father of one of the victims who was raped.

The human rights activists who organized this public hearing have documented the cases and based on the jury's recommendations, will try and see that justice is finally done.

Source: NDTV, June 28, 2004

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