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Scheduled caste stir: Dalit woman dies in Hyderabad clash with cops

The Madiga Reservation Porata Samithi is demanding four sub-groups for Scheduled Caste people in Telangana.

india Updated: Nov 06, 2017 17:52 IST
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
Scheduled caste,Dalit,Dalit protest
Dalit activist D Bharati from Addagutta in Secunderabad who died during a protest in Hyderabad on Monday. (HT Photo)

A 40-year-old Dalit woman protester died of cardiac arrest in a clash with police during a protest in front of the Hyderabad collector’s office on Monday afternoon.

D Bharati from Addagutta in Secunderabad was among the protesters associated with the Madiga Reservation Porata Samithi (MRPS), an organisation demanding four sub-groups for the Scheduled Caste people in Telangana. The Madigas are a Scheduled Caste (SC) sub-section.

Bharati, along with hundreds of MRPS activists, gathered outside the Hyderabad Collectorate in protest against a delay by the Centre in splitting the SC people into four categories. They want the government to divide their right to reservation in jobs and education accordingly, on the lines of the Other Backward Classes (OBC).

Activists of the Madiga Reservation Porata Samithi during their protest in Hyderabad on Monday. (HT photo)

They also want the Telangana government to take an all-party delegation to New Delhi to put pressure on the Centre to fulfil their demand.

A clash occurred when police prevented the MRPS activists from entering the collectorate. Many protesters, including women, were detained and packed into police buses.

Bharati resisted when woman constables pushed the protesters towards the vehicles, but she collapsed and fell unconscious soon after.

Police took her to Osmania General Hospital, where the doctors tried to resurrect her. But she didn’t recover. They said she died of a cardiac arrest.

Activists of the Madiga Reservation Porata Samithi during their protest in Hyderabad on Monday. (HT photo)

Many MRPS activists gathered at the hospital, and shouted slogans against police and the Telangana government after her death.

The tragedy rocked the Telangana state assembly in the afternoon. Opposition parties condemned what they called “high-handed behaviour” of police.

Chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao expressed his condolences for the unfortunate death of Bharati and announced an ex gratia of Rs 25 lakh to her family. He also promised to take care of the education and upkeep of her children.

He assured that he would write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking an appointment for an all-party meeting to discuss the issue.

“The state assembly had already passed a resolution seeking the Centre to expedite the process of SC categorisation. Once I get the appointment from the Prime Minister, I will lead the delegation to Delhi to take up the issue,” he said.

First Published: Nov 06, 2017 17:51 IST