Activist demands justice for Dalit couple who lost their cultivated land

Activist demands justice for Dalit couple who lost their cultivated land

Submitted by Editor on Sun, 2016-06-12 08:03 Mangaluru: An activist on Saturday accused Kaniyoor gram panchayat of using contractors to ‘unlawfully’ uproot coconut and arecanut palms in a land owned by a Dalit and threatened the DC and other authorities of legal action for failing a Dalit couple in their time of need.The activist Lolaksha on Saturday alleged that the incident occurred on March 20, 2016. “Taking advantage of my husband’s absence, the contractors destroyed and levelled cultivated land,’’ said Sundari, wife of Babu.The land was levelled in order to lay a culvert. “A Dalit’s land was encroached and destroyed by government (local panchayat) without any prior notice,” Lolaksha said and demanded justice for Babu, a daily wage labourer from Balayya Scheduled Caste community.The activist said he had submitted a written complaint to DK ZP CEO P I Sreevidya on April 13, to the DC on April 16, and to the local Uppinangady police on April 17.The local police registered a case against the gram panchayat only after the intervention of station house officer (SHO). Highlighting the insensitivity, he said the DC responded to the complaint by directing the SP to ‘take action as per rules’ after 42 days.Even after registering the case, Uppinangady police are yet to arrest the contractors who reportedly wield political clout. Under section 6 of Scheduled caste and the Scheduled tribes (prevention of atrocities) rules 1995, DC should have visited Babu’s house and released a part of compensation of Rs 50,000 within a month. Since it didn’t happen in this case, under section 4 of SC/ST (PoA) Act, the DC, DKZP CEO and Uppinangady police can be arrested and imprisoned up to a maximum period of one year for wilful neglect of their duties.Under the amended SC/ST Act, the charge-sheet should have been filed against the accused within two months.