Harassed Dalit woman fights for justice

Deccan Herald

Visakhapatnam, July 2: Despite protective legislations like the Prevention of SC, ST Atrocities Act, a Dalit woman belonging to Gajuwaka area is being made to run from pillar to post for the past seven months to get justice.

The woman, who was stripped in public, beaten in her private parts has been carrying on the battle despite official apathy and police inaction. Ratti Jayamma, wife of petty vendor Vasu, is demanding stringent action against her landlady who attacked her. Jayamma, who spoke to the newsmen at the VJF Press Club here on Monday, said she was asked to vacate her house all-of-a-sudden by landlady K Kantamma in November 2000. When she pleaded that she needed some time since here father-in-Law was seriously ill and was undergoing treatment in the King George Hospital.

As the pressure began mounting on her, Jayamma had no choice but to seek court injunction to stay for some more time in that house. A week later, Kantamma, was angry at the turn of the events, attacked her with the help of former municipal councillor Datti Appalaswamy and her son-in-law. "On November 21 last year, they abused me in a filthy language by my caste, dragged me out of the house in the absence of my husband and badly beat me up on the private parts after removing my clothes,'' Jayamma said. However, her trails began after the incident.

She went to Gajuwaka police station to lodge a complaint against the trio under the Prevention of SC, ST Atrocities Act. According to her, the police registered a complaint with great reluctance and to this day, no arrests have been made. She alleged that when she met ACP Nalini Kanta Rao, instead of helping her, he tried to force her to enter into a compromise with Kantamma. When she refused, he yelled at her and tried to hit her with a paperweight, Jayamma said. She told newsmen that the police were acting in a partisan manner and offering to mediate. She said they were forcing her to drop the cases. Vasu, her husband, said even though they vacated the house, they were being threatened and asked to withdraw the cases. "We even met the City Police Commissioner, who has again referred the matter back to Gajuwaka police", Vasu added. When contacted, City Commissioner of Police A K Khan said he would be deputing additional deputy commissioner of police M Subba Rao to inquire into the case and ascertain the facts. He said if the allegations were found to be true, action would be taken against Gajuwaka Police for dereliction of duty.

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Referred by: Mukandan CM
Published on: July 3, 2001
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