Cops stop Dalit leaders from entering Andhra village 

Tense situation prevailed in Garagaparru village of Palakoderu mandal in West Godavari district with police restricting the movement of the villagers and not allowing outsiders to visit.

ELURU:Tense situation prevailed in Garagaparru village of Palakoderu mandal in West Godavari district on Sunday with police restricting the movement of the villagers and not allowing outsiders to visit the village as a precautionary measure.

The village witnessed social boycott of the Dalits at Chiristianpeta in the village two months ago and when the issue came to light, it hit national headlines.  

On Sunday, to extend solidarity to Dalits of Garagaparru village, hundreds of people from various Dalit organisations and political parties tried to visit the village, but were prevented by police from entering the village citing prohibitory orders. It had led to push and pull situation between police and the activists at many places on the way to the village.

Following the ‘Chalo Garagaparru’ call given by Dalit Associations from the two Telugu States, police have blocked the Bhimavaram-Tadepalligudem road and did not allow any vehicle to enter Garagaparru village. Pickets were set up at Pippara, Yendagandi, Garagaparru and Gollalakoderu villages.

However, despite police restrictions, Dalit leaders from Forum for RTI and Samajwadi party Dalit association reached Gollalakoderu to enter into Garagaparru. The police stopped the leaders and workers at Gollalakoderu. Scuffle took place between the police and the Dalit leaders. However, police did not allow Dalit leaders to enter the village.

Meanwhile, some leaders including Merugu Nagarjuna, SC/ST Commission former Chairman, visited the village and interacted with Dalits of Christianpet of Garagaparru. The founder president of Mala Mahanadu Mallela Venkata Rao, JNU (Delhi) assistant professor Kali Chittibabu, HCU professors, 30 member team of Lawyers from Telangana reached Garagaparru and discussed with the dalits were also able to interact with the victims of social boycott. They found fault with police for not registering the case even after two months since the incident took place.

In the evening, 40 advocates from Kurnool and West godavari reached Garagaparru and met the Dalits in Chiristianpet. They asked about the plight of the dalits and recorded statements of everyone. The lawyers told mediapersons in the village that they have no thrust in the government inquiry, hence they are inquiring the matter themselves and would file a petition in the High Court.

When police did not allow Congress leaders and former ministers S Sailajanath and K Murali and other leaders and stopped them at Yendagandi village, they staged sit in at the barricades for nearly one hour. Later, only the two former ministers were allowed to enter the village and meet the victims of the social boycott.

Condemning the inaction of the government, Sailajanath said Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu is oppressing Dalits and described the TDP Government as anti-dalit.  SC/ST Commission former Chairman Merugu Nagarjuna questioned the officials as to why they failed to take action even two months after the incident.

Cops register FIR

Meanwhile, police finally registered an FIR on Sunday against upper-caste people in the social boycott incident in Garagaparru village. Cases were registered against Indukuri Balaramakrishnamraju, Mudunuri Ramaraju, Gattikoppula Srinivas under Sections 341, 506 r/w 34 IPC and under SC-ST POA Act, 2015 in Palakoderu Police station.  The Superintendent of Police Bhaskar Bhushan has appointed DSP Nunna Muralikrishna as investigating officer to inquire into the incident of social boycott. The police requested the people not believe falsehoods being propagated through social media

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