Saturday, October 09, 2004

Karanataka Dalit women demand justice

Nupur Basu

Saturday, October 9, 2004 (Bangalore):

With atrocities on Dalits in rural Karnataka continuing to grab headlines, a group of Dalit women in Bangalore are now demanding justice after attacks by upper caste landlords.

After having been denied justice by the district police and administration in Gonal village in Koppal district, the women have come all the way to Bangalore to highlight the physical attacks.

"I was cleaning the cattle shed in front of my house when 20 men suddenly appeared and pulled out sticks from the roof of the hut. Then they started beating me," said Durgamma, a Dalit victim.

"The landlords want to grab the land and that is why they attacked these women on the September 24. They dragged the women out of their small huts and beat them up and after beating them up these people went to police but no arrest was done," said K S Vimala, Secretary, AIDWA, Karnataka unit.

Novel method

Knowing very well that there is a stringent legislation in place against atrocities on Dalits, the landlords came up with a novel method.

"To attack these Dalit agricultural labourers this time they made a new plan. Instead of doing it directly they engaged a Dalit group from the city area, whom they had paid them. They dragged these women out of the huts and physically assaulted them," said President, Agricultural Workers Union, Karnataka.

Meanwhile, AIDWA has planned a massive rally to Vidhan Saudha this weekend to highlight the plight of the women and demand swift action on the guilty landlords.

Source: NDTV, October 9, 2004


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