MANGALORE – Arrest of a student pursuing Post Graduation from Mangalore University on the charges of Naxal link, has created a row between civil society and administration in Dakshina Kannada district.
Vittala, a student of Mass Communication and Journalism, along with his father Linganna (53) was arrested on Friday 2nd March, from his house located in Kutlur village of Beltangadi Taluk amidst the dense Western Ghats, while another son of Linganna, Purushottam is absconding. Anti Naxal Force (ANF) armed with various charges like sedition, is hunting for him.
Vittala, a member of Malekudia ST Community dwelling in the Western Ghats is the only person to study beyond SSLC. He was an active associate of Anti Naxal student outfit, SFI. He had also engaged himself with several ‘Rights’ organizations fighting for the cause of Moolanivasis and Dalits of this region.
Last Friday, on the 2nd of March, a personnel of Anti Naxal Force (ANF) barged into the house of Linganna, a collie, and allegedly beat him up. He arrested him and his son Vittala, who had come home to see his father, on the charges of supporting the Naxal movement and hence waging a war against the nation..
According to the Police, who carried out a combing operation, Linganna, his son Vittala and Purushottama are supporters of Naxal outfits. They claim that handbills, paper cuttings on Naxal issues, binoculars and other related materials were recovered from Linganna’s house during the operation.
But according to the students and people who know Vittala, he is a decent and brilliant student, and was very regular to the classes. He was also fighting for the cause of Moolanivasis, especially against forceful eviction and their Land Rights.
Anti Naxal Force has taken Vittala into police custody after producing them in Beltangadi court, while Linganna was sentenced to judicial custody by the Court.
Several organizations have been protesting against the arrest of both the father and son, alleging that the government has adapted alternate means to sabotage the voice of people fighting for justice and for the Rights of moolanivasis, so that it can easily evacuate them from the forests.
Rights’ organizations of this region have been raising doubts over the functioning of the Anti Naxal Force since a long time. They have been demanding the administration to stop the practice of stereotyping Malekudia and Dalits as Naxalites. Malekudia is a primitive tribe dwelling in the Western Ghats of South Canara and is a very backward community.
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