Hyderabad: Twenty-five people have been arrested in connection with an alleged social boycott of members of a Schedule Caste community for constructing a Ambedkar Sangam building in a village in Nizamabad district of Telangana, police said on Tuesday.
The arrest was made on January 5 and the 25 were sent to judicial custody, a police official said. There was a simmering dispute since some members of the SC community, belonging to Marampally village, had dug and erected pillars in an open land near a village tank for the sangam building, the police said.
This was objected to by the members of the village development committee, who allegedly threatened the SC people of social boycott if they constructed anything in that spot, they said. But, the warnings were not heeded to, the police said. The village development committee members allegedly began social boycott of the SC people since December 24 last, they said. Talks were held and the committee members told the SC people to deposit an amount of Rs 50,000 as advance, police said.
The amount was given, yet the boycott continued and certain members of the development committee threatened to impose 'village boycott if they informed the police. But, the SC people sought police action and a case under relevant sections of IPC and SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Amendment Act 2015 was registered.
During investigation, police officials visited the village. The village development committee members and other community elders were counselled in the presence of revenue and police officials. After visiting the village and interacting with the SC people and the alleged accused, it came to light that in August last, some SC youth had begun construction of the Ambedkar Sangam building on government land without permission from the gram panchayat (or from revenue or irrigation department), police said.
The committee members asked the SC to stop the construction and demanded Rs 50,000 as deposit to discuss the
matter, police said. Accordingly, the SC community members gave the sum to a member of the committee as there was no legal sanction for the construction, they said.
There have since been disputes between both the parties, they said. After counselling by the revenue and police officials, social boycott or any other forms of non-cooperation with the SC community members was called off. However, a police picket has also been posted in the village for maintaining law and order, police said.