Daijiworld Media Network - Mangalore (PS)
Mangalore, Nov 16: "The long-pending demand of the Dalit community in the DK district to have an Ambedkar Bhavan to organize community and family programmes is being hindered by legislative assembly deputy speaker Yogish Bhat," alleged M Devadas, state organizing secretary, Karnataka Dalit Sangharsha Samiti.
Addressing a press meet here on Friday November 16, he said that following demand made by many Dalit unions, the then DC Subodh Yadav had recorded the land required in the RTC. The land earmarked for the purpose was in Derebail ward, but to no avail.
M Devadas said that many vested interests were behind the non-commencement of the work on Ambedkar Bhavan building. "Both the district administration and Mangalore City Corporation have give in to the pressure and proposed to shift the project from Derebail ward to some other place. This is an insult to the architect of the Indian Constitution Baba Saheb Ambedkar," he said.
He also complained that when a delegation led by Dalit leaders met DC Dr N S Channappa Gowda, the latter reportedly told leaders to contact Yogish Bhat to realize the project. M Devadas said that the DC was acting as a puppet of political powers and that if he had any will power, the project which was realized in almost all other districts, would also have materialized in Dakshina Kannada too.
He warned that a large protest and campaign will be organized in the coming days in case further delay was made.
Dalit unions leaders SP Anand, Krishnananda D, Ramesh Kotian, Jagadeesh Pandeshwar, Lingappa Nanthur, P Keshava, Chandrakumar were present at the press meet.
Leaders urge to withdraw criminal case against arrested scribe
The Dalit leaders also urged for the release of TV journalist Naveen Soorinje who was arrested by the police in the Padil home stay incident. Krishnananda D, district convener of Karnataka Dalit Sangharsha Samithi said that BJP government and the district administration could not tolerate a sincere journalist and hence labeled him as a criminal. "The police action is against democracy," he said, and urged for the withdrawal of cases filed against Naveen Soorinje.