Charges filed in Kambalapalli Dalit killings

BANGALORE: The Civil Rights Enforcement Cell (CRE) filed the chargesheet last Thursday in the court of Civil Judge, Chintamani, indicting 32 persons, including one Maddi Reddy, as the main accused in the burning of seven dalits in Kambalapalli village in Chintamani taluk of Kolar district in March this year. All the accused are now in judicial custody.

It may be recalled that following the murder of a youth of the Reddy community, allegedly by dalit youths, the Reddy community retaliated by burning seven dalits including three women.

The government entrusted the case to the CRE cell which conducted the inquiry after booking a case under the SC\ST (Prevention of Atrocity) Act.

According to the chargesheet, the investigating team headed by DySP Suresh Naidu of CRE Cell, found the entire village deserted after the incident.

``Not just the men of the Reddy community, even the dalits had fled the village to Andhra Pradesh. The officers found it difficult to elicit opinion from the people,'' says the inquiring officer in the chargesheet.

The incident had rocked both the houses of the Legislature and the government ordered a judicial enquiry into the incident as demanded by the Opposition. Kambalapalli village, in the politically and socially volatile Kolar district, has seen many inter-caste clashes between caste Hindus and dalits. The incident had evoked angry reactions from dalits throughout the state.

The Director General of CRE cell M.D. Singh has announced rewards for the team which inquired into the incident.

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