‘Upper caste’ family blocks access to road, Dalits file complaint
According to people familiar with the matter, the deputy commissioner instructed the taluk tehsildar to look into the complaint
A Dalit community in Mandya district of Karnataka submitted a complaint to the deputy commissioner of the district on September 14 (Check) alleging that a family belonging to an upper caste has blocked the road leading to their houses.
In a memorandum submitted to the DC, the villagers from Hoothagere village of Maddur taluk urged the district administration to intervene and clear the road encroached by the upper caste family. They emphasized that lack of road connectivity has created significant challenges to their community, impacting their daily lives and access to essential infrastructure.
According to people familiar with the matter, the deputy commissioner instructed the taluk tehsildar to look into the complaint.
“Soon after receiving the complaint, we visited the spot along with social welfare officers,” Maddur Tahsildar B Narasimha Murthy said. He said that the mentioned road is not on the official revenue department map and the land belongs to by private people. “However, we have solved the problem by instructing owners to leave 12 feet of road and they agreed to this.”
Trouble arose when the Dalit community questioned the installation of the barbed wire fence. The landlord who is also the encroacher, allegedly used derogatory language, against the Dalit community.
The small village has concrete roads, water supply, and drainage facilities and the Gram Panchayat imposes annual taxes, revenue, and government dues on the houses located there. The villagers have been demanding immediate road access and a long-term solution to their predicament.
The public road, situated in Survey No. 366 of Hoothagere village, is a 19.5-feet road is not on the village map. However, with the installation of an allegedly illegal wire fence in the middle of the road, the upper caste family has encroached the road. The villagers have urged the DC to take action against this encroachment on the public road and ensure justice.
“The problem is that the road was not mentioned anywhere on the map of the revenue department, and the road is situated in the middle of the three acres of land owned by Ramesh and Shashi Kumar, who are brothers,” Hoothagere gram panchayat member Shwetha Janardhan told HT.
She said that however the intervention of gram panchayat and revenue officers and social welfare officers has solved the problem as the land owners agreed to provide 12 feet road.
“Since the last five decades, we were using the road which has a width of 19.5 feet and 60 meters of length, as this is the only road to connect 16-18 houses of Dalit families,” Javarappa, a Dalit elder told reporters. He said the land owners were trying to grab the road meant for road and urged revenue authorities to include the road in the village map.