Dalit activist and professor Sujatha Surepally has accused the Karimnagar police of foisting cases against her to curtail her activism. The activist alleged that the police are keeping her under surveillance and pre-emptively filing fake cases against her.
The activist was recently booked under IPC section 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), section 186 (Obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions) and section 341 (Punishment for wrongful restraint) for allegedly protesting the death of a Dalit youngster, Ajay Kumar, who died in a road accident.
The death of the youngster, who was allegedly mowed down by a school bus, sparked tension in the area and several students from his college had protested demanding compensation from the family that runs the bus service.
The cases were filed against her on August 12. However, claiming that the charges were untrue, Sujatha says, “It is true that I paid a visit to check on the grieving family. I even wanted fair compensation for the deceased since he came from a poor family, but I did not prevent any officer from doing their duty. In fact, I wasn’t even present when the protests were going on.
“The police should drop these fake charges against me,” Sujatha demanded.
She alleges that the police have been carrying out a witch-hunt against her ever since she was accused by the BJP of burning a photo of Bharat Mata on December 25 – Manusmriti Dahan Diwas, which she has vehemently denied.
She further suspects that her recent campaign in June for justice for a Dalit family, wherein a father and son were hacked to death by an upper caste family in Kandikatkoor village of the neighbouring Rajanna Sircilla district, could also have angered the police.
“I had protested for the justice of the family and confronted the DCP and other authorities for neglecting the repeated threats that the Dalit family had faced. The family had filed a complaint about the atrocities against them by the accused, but the police didn’t take any affirmative action,” she alleges.
When TNM spoke to the Karimnagar ACP Venkata Rama, he said that he would look into allegations and verify with the local inspector about the cases against Sujatha.
Meanwhile, several Dalit groups and activists have come forward to support and extend solidarity to Sujatha Surepally.