MLA’s mock funeral held after offensive remark against Dalits

Belagavi: Dalit organizations observed bandh in Sankeshwar and Sadalaga towns in Hukkeri and Chikkodi taluks on Saturday, condemning the derogatory remark made against them by MLA Umesh Katti.

In a video, which has gone viral on the social media, Katti allegedly addressed dalits as ‘holeya’. The use of such word in punishable under The Scheduled C

astes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

Katti made this remark while commenting on the reservation policy during an interaction with reporters in Bellad Bagewadi recently.

An FIR was registered against Katti in Hukkeri police station on Friday, under Section 504 of IPC and Section 3 (1) (R) and 3 (1) (S) of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, following a complaint lodged by Sunil Kallappa Khatedar of Avargol village.

On Saturday, thousands of dalits from Sankeshwar and surrounding villages participated in rally which started at Ambedkar Bhavan in Bhim Chowk. The protesters carried a mock funeral of Katti and burnt his effigy at Channamma Circle.
Schools, colleges and commercial establishments were completely shut and no NWKRTC bus or private vehicle operated in the day. Long-route buses passed through NH 4, without entering the town.
Mock funeral of Katti was also conducted in Sadalaga from Ambedkar Marg to Nadakacheri. The protesters submitted a memorandum to revenue circle officer. The town observed total bandh. Dalit organizations have called for a Chikkodi town bandh on Monday.

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