Unsettled dust over Kambalappalli Dalit Carnage

(The Times of India News Service)

Kolar : One year since the Dalit carnage in Kambalappalli of Kolar district, hardly anything has changed in the village but for eerie silence and the embittered heart.

The carnage on March 11 last, in which seven Dalits were burnt to death reportedly by caste Hindus, had raised enough dust and became an epicentre of political hub-bub for quite some time. An old enemity between the two communities led to murder of a Hindu by Dalits which triggered the carnage.

Though the government's efforts to shift the Dalits to a new township began immediately, a lot needs to be done. The caste Hindus feel issues of their lives have been forgotten.

This being the issue, bringing about rapproachment between the communities looks a distant dream.

When Dalits, who constitute of over 50 per cent of the population, began deserting the village in search of a safer place, the district administration, bolstered by Chief Minister Krishna's assurance, immediately shifted them to camps at Munganahalli near Chinthamani and were assured a new township would be set up.

Following this, the remaining Dalits shifted their base. Thus, Gopasandra, situated a little away from Chinthamani, was selected for the township. As a result, 66 houses came-up in a short span costing Rs. 70,000 each. The township also got civic amenities including a school, community hall and public toilets. But no Dalit wants to move in.

The reason : The Dalits were to be allotted 2 acres of land each as was promised by the Chief Minister on the floor of the House. Accordingly, the district administration identified 100-odd acres of land near Kurumbur in Chinthamani Taluk for distribution among Dalits. The sheer distance between Gopasandra and Kurumbur has made the Dalits reluctant to own the land.

What has further annoyed them is the government's unkept promise to give a house to the kin of Krishna Reddy, who was allegedly clubbed to death by the Dalits.

Muniyamma, an elderly caste Hindu woman, says : "The officials never visited the village ever since the tragedy". She adds she has no interest in narrating the sufferings of her life to anyone else.

Source: (From "Times of India", Bangalore Edition, March 15, 2001)
Referred by:Mukandan M
Published on: March 15, 2001
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