VISAKHAPATNAM: Human rights activists and the kin of Tsundur victims are gearing up to launch protests in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states against the acquittal of all the accused in the Dalit massacre by the High Court. Accompanied by Dalit organisations, they will submit a memorandum to the district judge at the District Courts Complex in Visakhapatnam Monday.
As many as eight dalits were brutally murdered in caste violence that erupted at Tsundur village of Guntur district in 1991. But, the High Court, in its sensational judgement on April 22, 2014, acquitted all the accused, which enraged the Dalit leaders and the victims’ families. At a meeting organised by the kin of victims and human rights activists here Sunday, Human Rights Forum (HRF) state general secretary VS Krishna said that justice was being denied. A movement will be taken up in both the states to ensure that justice was meted out to the victims and the accused were punished, he added.
T Siva Nageswara Rao, who was the assistant public prosecutor at the Tsundur special court, added that the Dalits lost hope and confidence on the Indian administration and constitution. Recalling the scenes that took place in the court room, he said that the statements by the witnesses were misconstrued, enabling the court to deliver the judgement in favour of the accused. “To ensure that the justice is meted out to the victims, it should be heard by a neutral panel. In fact, more judges from SC/ST communities should be placed in the higher courts to treat such cases with empathy.” Reliving the horrific incident on 1991, Tsundur Dalit Victims’ Struggle Committee president J Mosses, who also lost one of his family members in the carnage, recalled that the political leaders had abandoned the cause after gaining political mileage and it was time for the youngsters, particularly those from the Dalit community, to fight for justice. Tsundur Protestors’ Committee member Adams, Ambedkar Memorial Society secretary C Pragyna and HRF member K Sudha also spoke.