NELLORE: Tension prevailed in Vaddipalem hamlet of Kothavangallu village panachayat in Kodavaluru mandal when the upper caste people of the village prevented dalits from the Dalitwada from using water of the village well.
As the news spread like wildfire, several dalit organisations rushed to the village resulting in exchange of arguments between the upper caste people and dalit leaders. District collector K Ramgopal directed the Kodavaluru MRO to get the pipeline fixed and restore water supply from the well to the Dalitwada and submit a report on the incident immediately.
Vaddipalem, 30 km from here, has two wells, one used by the upper castes and the other by dalits. The water in the well meant for dalits got contaminated a few months ago. Following a request by the dalits, the collector sanctioned Rs1 lakh for laying a pipeline from the other well in the village to supply drinking water to the Dalitwada.
According to Kodavalur tahsildar N Syamalamma, the two groups had agreed to the arrangement and things went smoothly.
However, four days ago, an upper caste person had allegedly de-linked the pipeline cutting of water to Dalits.When the dalits went to the well to fetch water, they were chased away by the upper caste people. The dalits were forced to use the contaminated water for the last four days.
As the news spread, several dalit leaders from other places rushed to the village in support of the local dalits.
MRPS district president J Ramanaiah condemned the ill-treatment of dalits and said even after six decades of independence, caste discrimination was still prevalent and Vaddipallem incident stood testimony to it. Bahujan Samaj Party Kovur incharge B Mastanaiah said it was unfortunate that discrimination against dalits was still continuing.