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Dalit activists brutally assaulted, arrested and detained by police for seeking action on encroachment of public property

Dalit Protesters

Activists

Kerala

 

HRDA has issued an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission of India on February 9 over the brutal physical assault, arrest, detention, false charges and remand report against peaceful and unarmed Dalits, women and other protesters by the Kerala state police. The Chairman of Samara Munnani, Mr. C.S. Murali, and other local community members, Ms. Gomathi and Dr. P.G Hari, were injured. They are representatives and supporters of the Dalit Bhoo Avakasha Samara Munnani.

For the last few days, the NSS (Nair Service Society) has been occupying a public ground surrounding the Vadayambadi Temple in Vadayambadi in Ernakulum district, Kerala. While occupying the ground, the NSS has built a ‘caste wall’ in order to prevent Dalits from entering the temple. A protest has been going on for the last few weeks led by the Dalit Bhoo Avakasha Samara Munnani. They are demanding that the public property and space should be made available to them and all concerned and the ‘caste wall’ should be demolished.

On February 4, 2018, the Dalit Bhoo Avakasha Samara Munnani organised a Dalit Atmabhiman Convention which was being held peacefully when the police suddenly attacked them. Many activists, including the Chairman of Samara Munnani, Mr C.S. Murali and Ms. Gomathi of Penpillai Orumai were badly injured during the police action. Dr. P.G Hari and Mr. Santosh Kumar, who questioned this discrimination at the police station, also faced the policemen’s rage and were physically manhandled.

The present protest initiative, demanding the demolition of the wall, has been continuously facing threats from the government and police since the time it began. The Collector had denied permission to conduct the peaceful convention and had threatened the protesters. On February 4, 2018, the day the convention was being held, members of the Sangh Parivar and other Rightwing fundamentalist groups, approached the protest site and created a ruckus by manhandling and threatening the protesters. The Circle Inspector, Mr. Sajan Saviour, has been trying his best to suppress the movement and he led the police. This uncompromising attitude has resulted in successive attacks on the protest site and arrest of the activists. Even media persons were not spared.

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