Belthangady: A 24 hour dharna demanding fundamental facilities for residents of Kuthlur living in Kudremukh National Park and release of Vittal Malekudiya, a student from Kuthlur accused of aiding Naxals was launched here on Friday, April 14. Various organisations under the leadership of CPI(M) participated in the protest.
The satyagraha was launched in front of Belthangady taluk Office at around 10 am by senior CPI(M) leader Bayya Raddy. He accused that government is driving the tribals out of the forest for the benefit of multi-national companies. Despite claims that India is growing as an alternative power like China and USA, he said that tribals of the country are denied basic facilities, he said.
Tribals are suffering a lot, both from Naxals and Anti Naxal Force(ANF). But, since Vittal Malekudiya was in touch with members of the media and revealed the atrocities by the ANF, he was arrested, he said.
CPI(M) district secretary B Madhava said that if ANF could arrest Vittal on grounds that he had books of Bhagath Singh, they must arrest me for having books on Mao. He dared them to arrest him on grounds that he had books on Mao.
DYFI district president Muneer Katipalla, Shekar Belthangady, B M Bhat and others spoke.
CPI(M), JMS, Dalitha Hakkugala Horaata Samithi, CITU, Adivasi Hakkugala Horaata Samithi participated in the protest.