|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 evening.|
|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.
Source: Deccan Herald, September 2010