Tension prevails in Ankahalli; dalit families declared ‘outcast’

Houses of dalits set on fire

Chamarajanagar, September 3, DHNS:

Tension gripped Ankahalli village in Gundlupet taluk near here when
two huts belonging to dalit families were set on fire on Thursday

Miscreants burnt down the houses of Chikkasiddaiah and Rachaiah
following clashes between dalits and people belonging to other castes
a few days ago.

According to reports, tension was brewing between two groups for the
past few days following an argument over dalits beating ‘tamate’
(drums) on the occasion of Mahadeshwara festival. The dalits had
stopped playing the instrument over two decades ago when fight ensued
between two communities over the ‘tamate’ issue during Ganesha
festival. The villagers placed a ban on dalit families using the
instrument on any occasion.

However, a few days ago people belonging to another community asked
dalit families to beat tamate during  the festival. But, the dalits
refused to do so and this led to the trouble.

The police who have registered a case against 13 persons  believe that
the refusal angered the upper caste group who  burnt down the houses
in revenge.

District Social Welfare Officer Prathibha, Inspector Ashok Kumar
visited the village and took the account from the aggrieved.

The victims said they were declared outcaste in a meeting three days
ago.  “Our family members were prevented from going to jobs outside
the village. A group of more than 12 people arrived near the huts and
put the houses on fire,” they alleged.


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