Torture of Dalits, BCs in Sircilla shamed the nation: Meira Kumar
Karimnagar, July 31: Former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar on Monday strongly condemned the brutal atrocities on Dalits and BCs by police and demanded that all guilty policemen be booked under Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. She also demanded judicial enquiry into the incident.
"We had seen several dreams about Telangana. We expected Telangana to be a State where there would be no atrocities on Dalits, Adivasis, BCs, minorities or other section. But I was in extreme pain when I was told about Nerella incident. I could not control my tears," Meira Kumar said in a press conference after she visited the Karimnagar District Jail where she met four out of eight alleged victims of police torture. She was accompanied by Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President Capt. N. Uttam Kumar Reddy and other party leaders.
Meira Kumar said that the victims broke down while narrating the police brutality. They were brutally beaten up and given electric shocks. She said that she was allowed to meet only four out of seven victims lodged in the jail while one more person is undergoing treatment in the hospital. She said that the victims were ordinary citizens belonging to SC and BC communities who were subjected to brutal torture for five days. She said the victims had suffered internal injuries like damage to kidneys and ribs. "I could not control my tears after hearing their stories. Is it India? Are we living in 2017?" she asked.
The former Lok Sabha speaker said that one of the victims is a commerce graduate who has not been given the promised job by TRS Government. She said another victim could not complete his graduation due to non-payment of scholarship by the present government. "This is not the Telangana for which we struggled so much," she said.
Meira Kumar said that the sand mafia has completely established its domination in the region. "Have we formed a separate State for Sand Mafia? They are over-loading and over-speeding their trucks. They don't care about people getting killed or injured in accidents. One sarpanch told me that five people were killed in accidents in his village. But no FIR was issued, no compensation was paid and no contract was cancelled," she said.
She described the cases booked against Dalits and BCs as false. She said two lorries were reportedly set ablaze during the night on July 2 by some unknown persons. However, police visited the village of SCs and BCs and picked up socially weak people. They were kept in illegal custody and booked under serious offences. She said that the victims were warned that their women would be booked in heinous offences if they reveal anything about the torture. "Telangana is known for its great culture. But the shameful act by the local police and administration has brought disrepute to Telangana's culture," she said.
Meira Kumar demanded that the activities of sand mafia should be stopped immediately. She also demanded withdrawal of all cases booked against the villagers. Further, she said all police personnel and others responsible for the incident should be booked under SC, ST Atrocities Act. She said that the government should also provide jobs and scholarships to the victims.
She expressed wonder at the silence of Central Government on this incident. She said while the incident took place on 2nd of July, the Central Government did not even enquire about it. Further, she said neither Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao nor any of his ministers visited the villages to at least enquiry about the incident.
The former Speaker said that the Congress party would raise the issue in both the Houses of Parliament.
Meanwhile, Uttam Kumar Reddy has strongly condemned the TRS Government for trying to foil the 'Chalo Sircilla' agitation. She said that the imposition of Section 30 and other restrictions clearly show that Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao has been trying to shield his son and minister K. Tarakarama Rao who is directly responsible for the atrocities on Dalits and BCs. He said that the Chief Minister is also trying to protect sand mafia who is being run by his close relatives. He said that the Congress party would continue its fight until the Sircilla victims get justice.
Senior leaders including Koppula Raju, K. Jana Reddy, Shabbir Ali, Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, T. Jeevan Reddy, Dr. J. Geetha Reddy, V. Hanumantha Rao, Ponnam Prabhakar, Sridhar Babu, and others were also present.