By Violet Pereira, Team Mangalorean
Mangalore: Saroja, a Dalit woman, worked in Kodu
Narayana Shetty's house in Kemral village near Kinnigoli for the past five
months. She is a mother with two children and her salary had been fixed at Rs
100 per week. Her husband Krishna was also appointed to work in the same owner's
coconut garden at Rs 150 per day with a free accommodation.
The couple worked for Narayana Shetty with honesty. But Saroja's plight began
when Shetty soon started to abuse and harass Saroja, both physically and
mentally. She did not get her salary in time. Whenever she claimed her salary,
Shetty abused her using vulgar language.
Seventy-year-old Shetty often insulted her caste. On May 3, 2012
at 8 in the morning, Saroja went to claim her salary as she wanted to quit her
job. Shetty once again attacked her with abusive words. Around 1.30 pm,
Shetty called Saroja to come home to collect her money, As soon as she entered
to his house, 5 women and 4 men beat her up with sandals and wooden clubs.
They also tried to sexually abuse her. Severely injured, Saroja was finally
thrown into a nearby paddy field by 4 men.
When Krishna returned from work, he saw his wife lying in the paddy field
with injuries. He immediately rushed her to the Mulki Government hospital and
got her admitted for treatment.
Krishna informed the SC/ST community leader Narayana Salian and narrated the
whole issue. He along with Vishu Kumar rushed to the hospital and assured
Saroja of getting justice meted out. The Mulki police too reached the hospital
and filed a case against Narayana Shetty and his family members who were
involved in the assault.
As soon as the case was registered, Shetty
pressured Saroja to withdraw the case and agreed for a compromise. Saroja
refused to compromise. But when she was alone in the hospital, advocate Dinesh
Ulipadi sent his female assistant advocate to the hospital to sign a blank
paper. She made Saroja to sign on a blank paper.
appeared in some Kannada newspapers wherein Shetty has alleged that Saroja had
taken Rs 1 lakh 40 thousand and also that Salian, Vishu Kumar and S P Anand had
demanded Rs 5 lakh to get the case withdrawn.
Saroja strongly refuted this charge at a media meet held in the press club
here on May 14. She urged the media to highlight the issue and help her in