Several Dalit and Human Rights organisations and individuals (led by Andhra Pradesh Ambedkar Yuvajana Sangham, Andhra Pradesh Scheduled Castes’ Wefare Association and others) held a protest demonstation against the burning alive of two men suspected of practising witchcraft in Khaithapur village, Nalgonda district, at the Babasaheb Ambedkar statue junction, near Tank Bund, in Hyderabad on 21st September, 2010.
Details of the incident
Guddeti Allaiah (SC-Madiga) and Silveru Narsimhulu (BC-Kummari) were brutally killed by burning alive, by the Upper caste Reddys and non-dalit villagers of Khaithapur, Choutuppal Mandal of Nalgonda District On 15/09/2010.
There are 2 reasons for killing Guddeti Allaiah 1) He was a strong opponent of the upper castes (Reddys) in the village; many times he fought against the atrocities of upper castes on Dalits, and 2) Allaiah owns a plot of land of 23 Guntas which is located beside the land of one upper caste person, Alama Ramireddy (RTC Driver). He was forcing Allaiah to sell his land but Allaiah had been rejecting his demands for 10 years and saying that he didn’t want to sell the land.
Keeping the above two things in the mind, the upper caste culprits– Alama Ramireddy, Manne Ramachandra Reddy, and Gopi Ilaiah Goud, Laxma Reddy, Krishna Reddy, Janga Reddy– all together planned to eliminate Guddeti Allaiah, and started accusing Ailaiah and Silveru Narsimhulu of being sorcerers. If anybody fell sick or died of accidents in the village, they started blaming Allaiah and Narsimhulu as the reasons for those deaths and illnesses.
On 15th September, the Reddy upper castes and some non-dalits executed their plan to kill Guddeti Allaiah. At 10 am, Alama Ramireddy, Manne Ramachandra Reddy, and Gopi Ilaiah Goud, Laxma Reddy, Krishna Reddy, and Janga Reddy mobilized all the villagers at one place, and they brought Silveru Narsimhulu to that place and started beating him. Later they forcibly brought Guddeti Allaiah to that place and beat both of them brutally.
They also planned that there would be no case if those two were killed in the hands of women. Accordingly, they encouraged non-dalit women to kill them; the women tied them with ropes and forcibly brought them to the graveyard and set them on fire and killed them.
In this case, the police arrested innocent Dalit women to protect the real culprits: Alama Rami Reddy, Manne Ramachandra Reddy, Gopi Ilaiah Goud, Laxma Reddy, Krishna Reddy, Janga Reddy and the non-dalit women.
None of the Dalit MLAs / MPs/ MLCs/ Bureaucrats etc, except for some Dalit organizations like Ambedkar Youth Association, Scheduled Castes’ Welfare Association, visited the village after those brutal killings.
Though there are provisions to prevent atrocities on dalits according to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989, the revenue and police departments failed to deliver their duty and they are now trying to protect the accused.
The protesters put for the following demands:
- Immediately arrest and punish the accused Alama Rami Reddy, Manne Ramachandra Reddy, and Gopi Ilaiah Goud, Laxma Reddy, Krishna reddy, Janga reddy and the non-dalit women,
- Release the innocent Dalit women who were falsely implicated in this case to protect the real culprits,
- The Dalit MLAs / MPs/ MLCs/ Bureaucrats should visit this village to pressurize the local authorities and Police, Revenue officials to achieve justice
- Ex-gratia of Rs 10, 00, 000 should be paid to the wives of the deceased (Guddeti Allaiah’s wife, Ushamma, and Silveru Narsimhulu’s wife, Yadamma)
- The revenue and police officials who are trying to protect the real culprits should be prosecuted according to the provisions of SC ST POA Act 1989.
Report and pictures: Karthik Navayan.