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Dalit BJP parliamentarian denied entry into Karnataka village, says ‘mindsets’ must change

The incident occurred on Monday at a Gollarahatti, a village dominated by the backward Yadava community. The BJP’s Chitradurga lawmaker A Narayanaswamy was on a visit to the village to discuss drinking water problems.

india Updated: Sep 17, 2019 14:10 IST
Vikram Gopal
Vikram Gopal
Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
Bharatiya Janata Party lawmaker A Narayanaswamy (left) was on Monday denied entry into a village in Karnataka’s Pavagada taluk in Tumakuru district because he belongs to a community classified as Scheduled Caste.
Bharatiya Janata Party lawmaker A Narayanaswamy (left) was on Monday denied entry into a village in Karnataka’s Pavagada taluk in Tumakuru district because he belongs to a community classified as Scheduled Caste.(ANI photo)
         

Bharatiya Janata Party lawmaker A Narayanaswamy was on Monday denied entry into a village in Karnataka’s Pavagada taluk in Tumakuru district because he belongs to a community classified as Scheduled Caste.

The incident occurred on Monday at a Gollarahatti, a village dominated by the backward Yadava community. The BJP’s Chitradurga lawmaker was on a visit to the village to discuss drinking water problems. However, the residents of the village refused to allow him entry as he was a Dalit.

Speaking to HT, Narayanaswamy said he was on a visit to the Pavagada taluk, where water has very high flouride content and has resulted in many health issues for the residents. “I visited the village as part of a team to provide reverse osmosis water plants in every school in the village, when I was denied entry by a group of residents,” Narayanaswamy said. The team comprised people from bio-tech major Biocon and the Narayana Hrudayalaya, a specialty hospital here.

“I could have forcibly entered the village but chose not to do so because I didn’t want to make the situation worse,” Narayanswamy said. “I think the incident highlights how much more work is required to be done in terms of educating the people about the Constitution and about human equality,” he said.

The lawmaker said he had requested the authorities not to press charges against anybody in the village. “The incident highlights our failure to provide education and punishing them will not solve anything. We must work for a change in the mindset of the people,” he said.

“We’ve traditions,there is history of incidents,so people said he shouldn’t be allowed,” ANI quoted a villager Nagaraj as saying.

First Published: Sep 17, 2019 13:58 IST

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