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Dalits to be given arms for security

The Maharashtra government is considering providing arms to Dalits in the villagers where their population is less, reports Pradip Kumar Maitra.

india Updated: Nov 15, 2006 16:54 IST

The Maharashtra government is considering providing arms to Dalits in the villagers where their population is less and they feel insecure, informed the deputy chief minister, RR Patil, who also holds the Home portfolio.

Patil, who air-dahsed, along with the social welfare minister, Chandrakant Handore to Amravati on Wednesday morning and held meetings with local leaders and district administration in the wake of arsons and violence in the city on Tuesday in protest against the Kherlangi Dalit massacre.

To a query on the demand of RPI leader, Ramdas Athawale that the government should provide arms to Dalits, the deputy chief minister asserted that wherever Dalit feels insecure in the villages where their population is less, the government could consider about it.

Patil also ordered a magisterial inquiry into the Tuesday violence in Amravati.

A Group of Dalits, under the banner of Dalit Action Committee, who had gathered at the collectorate on Tuesday to submit a memorandum on Kherlangi episode, went berserk, smashing shops windows, looting goods, destroying vehicles and setting fire to government offices in the city. The mob vandalised almost all the government offices in the Amravati camp area, including that of the anti-corruption bureau, ZP and state treasury office. The city police apprehended that the treasury office could be their target and that had led them to open fire in air.

Dalits in the region has been protesting against the brutal killing of four members of a Dalit family at Kherlangi in Bhandara district in September. Over 25 persons were sustained injuries, ten of them grievously, in Tuesday violence at Amravati. One of them, Dinesh Wankhede, who was shifted to Nagpur Medical College and Hospital late last night, is still battling with his life.

Meanwhile, the situation in Amravati continues to be tense. “However, it is now under control. Additional police personnel were deployed in different parts in the city to maintain law and order,” informs Jagan Nath, the police commissioner of Amravati. Police have also rounded up as many as 48 persons for their alleged involvement in arsons and violent activities and instigating the mob.

First Published: Nov 15, 2006 16:54 IST