ANANTAPUR: An embankment built by upper caste people blocking the way to a burial ground of Dalits at Chandana Lakshmampalli in the district led to a mild tension on Thursday. The funeral procession of a deceased Dalit man had to be postponed following the standoff. The landowners claimed that they constructed the embankment to prevent their fields from being flooded by rainwater. But the Dalits said the upper castes were deliberately blocking the way to the graveyard.
The SCs refused to perform the final rites demanding a permanent solution to the problem even as the police and revenue officials intervened and convinced the farmers to remove the hurdle.The controversy started when the family members of a deceased person, Kambanna, 70, found the embankment blocking their way to the burial ground through the path abutting the lands belonging to three farmers — Ramanjaneya Reddy, Narayana Reddy and Srinivas Reddy.
The deceased man’s relatives alleged that the farmers told them that the embankment could not be removed and that they should take another path to the burial ground. With the intervention of the police and revenue officials, the farmers agreed to remove the wall, but the Dalits did not relent. “A similar situation had arisen five months ago when the upper caste people stopped us from using the path. The then MRO took the initiative and convinced them to remove the hurdle. We want a permanent solution to the problem,’’ they demanded.
When the police and revenue officials intervened, the farmers agreed to remove the embankment. Tadipatri DSP A Srinivasulu told TNIE that the Dalit family had agreed to perform the final rites on Friday morning after police and revenue officials resolved the issue.