AP finalises plan to fight injustice against Dalits
DH News Service
HYDERABAD, May 10
In the light of several cases of discrimination against the Dalits in the backward regions of Andhra Pradesh in the last few weeks the government has finalised a plan to protect the Dalits and ensure a dignified existence for them.
A campaign against untouchability by some political and non-political organisations revealed that the scourge not only is prevalent but also that the old tormentors, namely the upper castes have been replaced by the backward castes. There have been several instances of BCs practising discrimination and untouchability in the villages of Mahbubnagar and Anantapur districts.
For instance, in the village of Tankora in the backward district Mahbubnagar, about 120 km from here, the predominant BCs have ostracised the Dalits for daring to enter and do puja in the local temple with the support of Civil SUpplies Minister N Janardhan Reddy. The Dalits have been forced to pay a fine, apologise by touching hte feet of the village elders among the BCs and denied work in their fields. As several such instances have been recorded by various teams and political parties, the government has decided to fight caste discrimination and has identified as many as 800 "sensitive" villages in the state where violence against Dalits and their oppression is widespread. These villages are in 10 out of 23 districts of the state.
Home Mnister T Devendar Goud has admitted that the measures taken by the government to end this evil were insufficient. "It is inhuman and shameful that such incidents occur even after 50 years of independence," he said. As part of the government plan to fight the menace, nine special courts will be set up covering the 10 "sensitive" districts to ensure speedier disposal of cases. Besides, the state government has appointed former Supreme Court judge K Punnaiah to study the problem and report within the next couple of weeks.