AP: Upper castes deny water to dalits in village

NELLORE: Tension prevailed in Vaddipalem hamlet of Kothavangallu village panachayat in Kodavaluru mandal when the upper caste people of the village prevented Mulnivasis from the Mulnivasiwada from using water of the village well.

As the news spread like wildfire, several dalit organisations rushed to the village resulting in exchange of arguments between the upper caste people and Mulnivasi leaders. District collector K Ramgopal directed the Kodavaluru MRO to get the pipeline fixed and restore water supply from the well to the Mulnivasiwada and submit a report on the incident immediately.

Vaddipalem, 30 km from here, has two wells, one used by the upper castes and the other by dalits. The water in the well meant for dalits got contaminated a few months ago. Following a request by the Mulnivasis, the collector sanctioned Rs1 lakh for laying a pipeline from the other well in the village to supply drinking water to the Mulnivasiwada.

According to Kodavalur tahsildar N Syamalamma, the two groups had agreed to the arrangement and things went smoothly.

However, four days ago, an upper caste person had allegedly de-linked the pipeline cutting of water to Mulnivasis.When the Mulnivasis went to the well to fetch water, they were chased away by the upper caste people. The Mulnivasis were forced to use the contaminated water for the last four days.

As the news spread, several dalit leaders from other places rushed to the village in support of the local Mulnivasis.

MRPS district president J Ramanaiah condemned the ill-treatment of Mulnivasis and said even after six decades of independence, caste discrimination was still prevalent and Vaddipallem incident stood testimony to it. Bahujan Samaj Party Kovur incharge B Mastanaiah said it was unfortunate that discrimination against Mulnivasis was still continuing.


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