By Violet Pereira, Team Mangalorean
Mangalore: 'Vittala Malekudiya defence committee' president and thinker G K Govinda Rao, accompanied by Dalit Sangharsh Samiti state convener Mavalli Shanker, visited Vittala Malekudiya and his father Linganna, in district sub jail here on May 14.
Vittala Malekudiya, a Journalism student from Mangalore University, was arrested along with his father Linganna on March 2, for alleging that they were aiding the Naxals.
Rao met the father and son in the district sub-jail and enquired about his alleged involvement with the Naxals. Speaking to Rao, Vittala said, "My house is 12 kilometres far from the college where I used to study and we walk in a forest area to go to the college. We have one acre land where we grow paddy which is the source of income for us. On March 2 the Anti-Naxal Force assaulted my father and fractured his leg and arrested both of us. We have not committed any crime nor have we supported the Naxals", he said.
Rao in return assured Vittala of ensuring justice to him. Later he met the jail officer and said that putting handcuffs on a student for a crime not committed by him would make a bright student to turn into a terrorist. He urged the jail officers to provide good food and take good care of him.
Later addressing the mediapersons, Rao said, "Vittala seems to be innocent and we can see it on his face that he is not a criminal, but the system has made him a criminal by tagging him as a Naxal. It is an inhuman act to tag a decent and a bright boy as a Naxal.
He clarified, "We are not supporting anyone who is supporting the Naxals. But we have formed a committee to fight for Vittala and his father so that they get justice. By arresting the innocent and blaming them for no reason would produce more terrorists in the state, he opined.
Mavalli Shanker speaking to the mediapersons said, "Kageri has announced to close down 3000 schools in the state because of less attendance. His announcement is making the students to shift to private schools. Why are there less children in school?" he questioned.
He also said that the government was concentrating on privatizng the schools. On May28, CPM leader Brinda Karat would meet chief minister D V Sadananda Gowda and discuss Vittala's issue and a protest would be held statewide on that day demanding release of Vittala and his father.
He also urged the media to do the follow up Vittala's case until he got justice. DYFI leader Muneer Katipalla and Professor Pattabhiram Somayaji were also present.