Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Acquittal of Kolar massacre accused a setback to Dalits

7 Dalits were burnt alive on March 11, 2000 by a upper caste mob.
Today not a single person has been convicted.
Once the fury dies down on Kherlanji one can expect a similiar
result in that case also

Dalit fury is building up in Karnataka and could
be headed the Maharashtra way. Thousands could embrace

Acquittal of Kolar massacre accused a setback to Dalits

Special Correspondent

Dalits forum wants the Government to move High Court

Bangalore: The acquittal of all the 46 accused in the carnage in Kambalapalli village of Kolar district, in which seven Dalits were burnt alive on March 11, 2000, has come as a huge setback for Dalits and progressive segments of the political spectrum fighting caste hegemony.

When Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy arrives at Vidhana Soudha on December 6 to garland B.R. Ambedkar's statue to mark the 50th anniversary of the great Dalit leader's conversion to Buddhism, Dalit Sangharsha Samiti and other organisations will hand over a memorandum to him demanding that the Government go on an appeal in the High Court over the verdict.

They are also planning a series of protests.

"Judgments such as this would make Dalits lose faith in the judiciary," Dalit Sangharsha Samiti (Ambedkarvaada) State convenor Mavalli Shankar told The Hindu.

Seven Dalits were burnt alive in their house in Kambalpalli village near Chintamani in Kolar district by an "upper caste" mob on the evening of March 11, 2000. The incident evoked national outrage in the following months and it was raised in Parliament. Reports in the media and those by fact-finding teams concluded that the incident had its roots in a complex web of socio-political factors including entrenched feelings of upper caste intolerance towards lower castes in the backdrop of the growing Dalit mobilisation.

The murder of an upper caste waterman responsible for pumping water to drums and buckets by a Dalit group was the immediate provocation for the incident.

Mr. Shankar alleged that the investigation into the incident was flawed.

There was a "sudden" transfer of a fast track court judge "under pressure from upper castes".

The Special Public Prosecutor appointed to handle the case had been withdrawn, he added.

Although the Government kept its promise on building houses for the Dalits of the village, not all have got the promised agricultural land.

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