Saturday, December 29, 2012

CPI(M) protests against police lathi-charge on agitators in Udupi

Hundreds took to the streets of Karnataka State on Friday to protest against the police lathi-charge in Udupi where 15 workers of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) were critically injured and more than 300 were arrested while they were protesting against the practice of ‘made snana’ and ‘pankti bheda’ on Thursday.

The protest, organised by the CPI(M) in the state capital of Bangalore, saw about 300 protesters demanding that the BJP government, headed by Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, step down as it had not taken any steps to stop the two practices. Effigies of the Chief Minister were also burnt.
Nidumamadi Channamalla Swami of Nidumamadi Math, who was at the protest, said, “These are evil practices and I personally do not believe in them or encourage them.”
The protest was held in association with the Centre of Indian Trade Unions, Students Federation of India, Democratic Youth Federation of India and Janwadi Mahila Sanghatana.
CPI(M) Bangalore district committee secretary K. Prakash said the police should withdraw all charges against the workers and punish those who disrupted the peaceful protest on Thursday.

CPIM Dharwad District committee held a protest on Friday and submitted a memorandum addressed to Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar urging him to release the party workers who were arrested in Udupi, and withdraw cases filed against them. The memorandum said that the workers were protesting peacefully against regressive practices such as ‘Made Snana’ and ‘Pankti Bedha’ at the Krishna temple in Udupi, but the police came down upon them and dispersed them. Senior party members Raghavendra Ayi, B.I. Ilager and Gangadhar Ambiger led the protest.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) Kolar District committee staged a demonstration in front of the Gandhi statue at Robertsonpet in Kolar Gold Field. 

Communist Party of India (Marxist) Udupi District Committe protested near the Service Bus Stand in Udupi. Addressing the protestors, CPI(M) leader K.S. Lakshmi said the police had not behaved in an impartial manner on December 27. They had behaved like sponsored agents of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Government. The CPI(M) would take up the matter of the high-handed police behaviour with the National Human Rights Commission, she said. 

Ms. Lakshmi said that Viswesha Tirtha Swamiji of Pejawar Math had visited the Dalit colonies in different parts of the State. “When he can visit Dalit colonies, he can allow Dalits to sit with Brahmins and have meals in his math,” she said. Vittal Poojary, CPI(M) leader, said the CPI(M) workers had not violated any law, yet they had been caned. Some CPI(M) workers had been beaten up mercilessly by the police. The windshield of the two buses had not been damaged by the CPI(M) workers. The police must withdraw the cases slapped against the CPI(M) leaders and workers, he said. 

Balakrishna Shetty, CPI(M) leader, said the police had arrested 182 persons after the lathi-charge on December 27 and they had been produced before the magistrate at 1 a.m. on December 28. “The CPI(M) will continue its struggle against made snana and pankti bheda till they are abolished,” he said. CPI(M) leaders P. Vishwanath Rai, Vidyaraj, Dogu Suvarna, Venkatesh Koni, and Pushpa Mallar were present. The protest was held amidst tight police security. In fact, there were more policemen than protesters, a fact acknowledged by a CPI(M) leader. 

CPI(M) Dakshin Kannada District Committee  staged a protest in front of the DC office in Mangalore.  Addressing the protesters CPI(M) district  secretary B Madhava, said that many leaders from various states had come to take part in the protest against the Made Madesnana and pankti bedha rituals.

Addressing the protesters Sunil Kumar Bajal said that the Pejavar Swamiji came out with a modified version of Madesnana, which is Ede Snana. To impress the Pejavar Swami and Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat, minister Kota Srinivas Poojary is supporting Made Madesnana rituals. When we were protesting the police assaulted us and arrested us. He demanded that the government take action against all the police officers who were involved in the assault and suspend them immediately. Made Madesnana is an insult to 6 crores people in the state and this inhuman ritual should be banned, he said. 

Further he said that Pejavar Swamiji agreed that the Ede Snana is his suggestion, which is a modified version of Made Madesnana. This is all created by the BJP government which is unstable due to internal clashes in the party. We will fight for justice, in the past CPI(M) has fought for justice and won our fight. Such a practice should not be allowed by the State government. Made Madesnana and pankti bedha should be banned, CPI(M) will fight till the end, arresting our activists or the lathi-charge will not make us change our minds from fighting against such rituals, he opined. 
Vasanth Acharya also spoke on the occasion. Suresh Bajal delivered the vote of thanks.

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