Sub-Inspector of Keesara police station, Mr Venkat, was an eye witness to the brutal assault on Dalits in Rampally Dayara: Human Rights Forum
The District Collector and Magistrate
Ranga Reddy district, Hyderabad
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’.
Member, State Committee
~ Human Rights Forum.
[Via Karthik Navayan]