Bangalore: On Sunday evening, police lathicharged and detained Dalit protesters demanding internal reservations as per Sadashiv Committee.
The protestors who walked 350 kilometers from Davanagere despite severe cold and rain were dispersed using lathi charge and their leading members were detained late Sunday. The protest march demanded the implementation of the Sadashiv Committee report which recommends internal reservation within the various Dalit communities according to their respective population.
Veteran leader and president of Karnataka Madiga Rakshana Vedike Kariappa Gudimani was hit in the head in the scuffle and was rushed to KC general hospital in Malleshwaram. Later around 8 PM police released the protestors. The Protest is still going on at freedom park in Bangalore.
The march led by the Committee for Scheduled Castes to enforce internal reservations reached Freedom Park in Bengaluru on Sunday (December 11). The protest was started at the founder of Dalit Sangharsa Samiti and activist Prof.B. Krishnappa’s memorial at Hariharada, Davanagere. Thousands of Dalits marched and reached the capital on December 11th.
Protesters reached Bangalore on Sunday morning bracing against cyclonic rain and cold were disappointed at the government’s response. They demanded Cheif minister Basavaraj Bommai come to the protesting site and listen to their demands and act on them. Earlier Minister Somanna was booed and sent back by protesters. They condemned the audacity of the government for sending Minister Somanna who was caught slapping a Dalit woman at an event in the Chamarajnagar district recently.
Many from the opposition have condemned the lathi charge and arrest of Dalit leaders and had urged the government to release them immediately. Opposition leader Siddaramiah has tweeted saying he supports the demand and shall implement the same after consultations if congress comes back to power. Priyank Kharge also tweeted that when the violent protests in saffron robes are handled with utmost care this is the love shown by the BJP government’s lathi for peaceful protests by Dalits.
Modern India is Not Free From Caste Oppression: On Population Based Reservation
Sadashiv Committee Report and Protest
The struggle for internal reservation has been going on for over three decades. Finally around 2005 the congress and JDS coalition government constituted the Justice AJ Sadashiva Commission for reclassifying the sub-castes within the scheduled castes and their representation. After 7 years it was presented to the BJP government headed by Sadananda Gowda in 2012. The report itself has not been tabled in the assembly so far though the state has seen 5 chief ministers since then.
According to the information leaked to the public – the Justice AJ Sadashiva Commission classified 101 sub-castes in the Scheduled Castes into 4 groups and recommended allotment of internal reservations in the existing 15% reservation on the basis of their respective population. According to the commission’s said ‘recommendations’, the reservations for the 33.4 percent of the left-handed (Madiga) community should get 6 percent, 32 percent of the right-hand (Holeya) community should get 5 percent, 23.64 percent of the touchable scheduled castes should get 3 percent and other Scheduled castes should get 1 percent. The voices to release the report and open it for public debate are getting louder.
BJP Government has broken its promise to Dalit Polulation
Speaking to the media the injured senior leader Kariappa Gudimani said
“The BJP Government which promised to implement the Sadashiv committee report has backstabbed us. 10 years back the BJP government had lathi-charged our movement during the assembly session held at Belagavi. Today the same BJP government is trying to silence our voice by attacking us again. I was hit on the head and I am now in Hospital. Even if I lose my life do not worry, this struggle should not stop, and agitating communities should not lose. Tomorrow the struggle will continue even more fiercely. All supporting brothers and sisters should be ready for this struggle and take it toward victory.”
Senior leader Ambanna Arolikar said ‘when the Chief Minister comes to Raichur, he says don’t panic, we will implement internal reservation, But when we came to Bangalore we were treated badly like this. We are Ambedkar’s children, we are not the ones who are afraid of the government’s baton. He has taught us the law. We will fight accordingly. If you know the law, implement internal reservation,”
All leaders in this struggle have condemned the political parties for their turncoat attitude toward implementing internal reservations and have warned to teach them a lesson in the upcoming assembly elections.