RAICHUR: A man who was eligible for the post of waterman in Mavinbhavi Gram Panchayat in Raichur district said he has been denied the job for being a Dalit. Huligyappa, belonging to the Madiga community, a caste considered widely as ‘untouchable’, had applied for the post of waterman on June, 2016, after the GP invited applications for the post. Apart from Huligyappa, 10 others had applied for the post.
He was the only candidate from the Madiga community in the list of applicants and he had scored 65.60 per cent marks in SSLC. Huligyappa said though he fulfilled all the criteria, the gram panchayat did not choose him for the post, but a man named Aiyana, who was not an ‘untouchable’, was hired as a daily wage labourer. However, Aiyana too was not hired on a permanent basis as it was mentioned in the invitation for applications.
He said, “the gram panchayat members and president decided not to take me as upper caste people do not drink water if a Dalit man releases water to the village.” He has also filed a complaint with the Lingasugur taluk panchayat.Corroborating the claims of Huligyappa, Mohan Goshle, a resident of Lingsugur taluk, said Huligyappa was kept way by gram panchayat members only because of his caste. The people there do not want to drink the water released by an SC man. Hence they hired this Aiyana and rejected Huligyappa.
The Lingasugur taluk panchayat executive officer, taking a quick note of the complaint on April 3, 2017, wrote a letter (a copy of which is available with The New Indian Express) to the gram panchayat and panchayat development officer (PDO) directing them to give a detailed report on the allegations and take action.
The EO wrote: “It has come to the notice that Huligyappa was rejected on the basis of caste and action must be taken on the basis of rule of law and report must be filed.” PDO Gangamma Kanapurahatti refuted Huligyappa’s allegations, saying he was not rejected on the basis of his caste. As the days progressed, applications were invited and Aiyana too was one of the applicants. The village body decided to continue with Aiyana.