HYDERABAD: Amid reports of negligence by revenue officials and interference by local ruling party leaders that might have forced two Dalit youths of Gudem village in Bejjanki mandal to attempt suicide, Khairatabad BJP MLA Chintala Ramchandra Reddy, who visited Yashoda Hospital where they are undergoing treatment, has said there is something suspicious about the government's attitude to the whole episode.
There are 57 Dalit families in the village and 48 of them applied for allotment of three-acre land as promised by the government under a scheme. After verifying the applications, officials found 34 persons eligible. Under the land purchase scheme, about 60 acres were purchased in the village at prices in the range of Rs 4 lakh to Rs 6 lakh per acre. There are allegations that local leaders interfered in the land distribution to beneficiaries and registered the land in their own names. As per the rules mentioned in GO MS No. 1, under the land purchase scheme, the poorest of the poor will be given three acres, followed by others who own a small piece of land such that they own three acres each.
The MLA, along with BJP state general secretary Chinta Sambamurthy, visited the hospital on Wednesday to meet the two youths and their family members. But he could not talk to the victims as they were undergoing treatment in the ICU. None of the family members was available either to speak with him.
Ramchandra Reddy said, "Hurt by the fact that Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao did not live up to the promise of distributing quality agricultural lands to landless Dalits three years ago, they resorted to this extreme step. It shows the step-motherly attitude of the government to Dalits and other oppressed classes." He also alleged that the government was trying to cover up something.
"Hospital officials claim that they are informing the progress of the patients to the family members from time to time. But there is no sight of them anywhere here. The hospital authorities are unaware of the family members' whereabouts, which is strange," said the MLA.When Express enquired with the hospital authorities about the family members, they said that the hospital was not in contact with any of them and was only in touch with the police.Sambamurthy said the BJP condemned this attitude of the government and the party would hold protests over this.