Hyderabad: Opposition parties and dalit organisations have been staging a series of protests in different parts of Telangana following the death of five dalits due to alleged caste-based violence in the last two months.
On July 29, G Narasimha, a dalit farmer was killed when he tried to resist illegal sand lifting from his farm land at Thirumalapur in Rajpur mandal of the state’s Mahabubnagar district. He was mowed down by the lorry which was used for sand lifting. The district police has registered a murder and illegal sand mining case against the accused people and later booked them under SC/ST Atrocities (Prevention) Act, after several protests.
According to Thirumalapur residents, Narasimha had several times complained to the Revenue and Police department officials about the sand mining in his land but no action was taken in that regard.
On July 30, another dalit farmer, Byagari Narasimulu committed suicide at Velur village in Gajwel in Siddipet district. Reportedly, the farmer was disillusioned as authorities grabbed his 13 guntas (1,315.21 square meter) of land for the construction of Rythu Vedika in the village. The farmer consumed pesticide after failing to convince the authorities to spare his land which was not in his name but was being cultivated by their family.
While the village sarpanch was booked in an SC/ST (PoA) case in connection with the suicide, Dalit organisations have been staging protests demanding arrests of the Village Revenue Officer and Tahasildar besides the Sarpanch.
Also read: Why Dalit Lives Do Not Matter?
Narasimulu’s suicide reveals the dire conditions of small and marginal farmers in the state, said B Prasad, Telangana State Agricultural Workers’ Union President. “The harassment of authorities over small and marginal farmers is revealed in this case. There are numerous instances where authorities trouble adivasi farmers who cultivate on podu lands without land titles. Instead of acting upon the accused people, the ruling party is trying to cover it up,” said Prasad while demanding three acres of land and Rs 1 crore ex gratia for the victim’s family.
Opposition parties including Congress and the left parties have also staged numerous protests against the increasing attacks on dalits in the state.
Chalo Mallaram Held
On July 27, the Scheduled Caste wing of the Congress party held a protest march ‘Chalo Mallaram’ demanding proper probe into the death of a dalit man, Revelli Rajababu, at Mallaram village in Malhar mandal of Bhupalapally district. According to Rajababu’s family, he was brutally murdered on July 6 in an attack by a local Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leader named Srinivasa Rao and his brother-in-laws, Shekhar and Sampath. TRS, however, has denied Srinivasa Rao’s association with the ruling party.
Earlier on May 26, Rangaiah, a resident of Ramayyapalli village in Ramgiri mandal of Peddapalli district was found dead in Mantani Police Station. Rangaiah was arrested two days before under the Wildlife Protection Act.
While the police claimed that he hanged himself in the station toilet with a towel, activists and opposition parties have raised suspicions that Rangaiah was killed due to police torture. Presently, an inquiry officer appointed by the Hyderabad City Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar is probing the death.
Reportedly, there have been at least 10 custodial deaths in the last six years in the state.
In July, a statue of Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar was defaced (smeared with mud) by unknown people in Thimmakpally village of Kamareddy district.