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Long March to protest Dalit killings cut short

The 'Long March' from Nagpur to Khairlanji village could not take off due to heavy police security, reports Sarita Kaushik.

india Updated: Nov 13, 2006 05:36 IST

The 'Long March' from Nagpur to Khairlanji village in the eastern Vidarbha district of Bhandara called to protest the killings of four members of a Dalit family, did not take off due to heavy police security.

On Sunday, while entry points to Nagpur were sealed, the police alsomade the protesting groupsleave the sensitive districts of Bhandara and Gondia.

A group of protestors had scheduled a long march from the Reserve Bank Square in Nagpur to Khairlanji -the killings took place here - and demanded that the entire village be booked for abetment of crime for having silently stood by as the Dalits were murdered.

Dalit Bhhaiyalal Bhotmange's wife, two sons and daughter were killed on September 29, because he did not allow the upper caste villagers to build a road over his field. The police initially refused to register a case and only after sustained pressure from local dalit activists an FIR was filed and some of the accused arrested. Moreover, the investigations are still on.

As small groups started gathering at the venue, the police allowed them to garland a statue of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, but quickly rounded them off. Preventive orders were clamped and around 70 people were rounded off as a measure of preventive detention. Smaller groups were dispersed from the spot. Protestors from neighbouring areas were also prevented from entering the city limits.

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First Published: Nov 13, 2006 05:36 IST