Adilabad: The Congress has been put on the mat by various tribal rights organizations and TRS for its proposed Dalit-Girijana Dandora in the historical Indervelli mandal centre on August 9, coinciding with World Indigenous Day. The party is being ridiculed for choosing Indervelli as the venue where scores of tribals were shot dead 40 years ago.
“The then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi merged Lambadas in the list of STs through Government Order no 148 in 1976. Consequently, the aboriginal tribals have been robbed of education and employment opportunities. Similarly, the infamous Indervelli firing incident took place when the Congress was in power in undivided Andhra Pradesh in 1981. The party has no moral right to organise the meeting here,” Nagesh Godam, district president of Tudum Debba, a tribal rights organization, told Telangana Today.
Nagesh, slamming the Congress for its proposed meeting on World Indigenous Day, said: “It is trying to hijack the occasion. Nagesh requested the Congress and other parties to study the history of struggles of the tribals before launching a programme. “We will raise slogans such as Lambada Hatavoa and Adivasi Bachao during the public meeting,” he disclosed.
The tribal leader said they were not opposed to the party organising the event, but its policies and decisions have been against the interests of aboriginal tribals so far. Faulting the Congress for involving tribal leaders in making arrangements for the proposed meeting, he cautioned that they would not tolerate activities that hurt the sentiments of ethnic tribes.
Meanwhile, Adilabad MLA Jogu Ramanna said the Congress, under whose rule the Indervelli firing incident took place, wondered how the party that took the lives of scores of tribals by permitting policemen to open fire on the gathering conduct a meeting in the historical spot.
“Indervelli mandal centre turned into another Jalianwala Baug due to the government ordering the police to open fire against the tribals at the public meeting. The victims of the incident are still leading a pathetic life. The TRS government, however, realised the need to develop tribals on various fronts and recognised their festivals and traditions,” the legislator said.
“Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao is the first Chief Minister to visit the historical Jodeghat and pave the way for growth of this region in 2014. A total of Rs 25 crore was granted to set up a memorial of tribal legend Kumram Bheem and a tribal museum at the historical spot. The famous Sri Nagoba temple and many other religious structures were improved in the past six years,” he said.
He took on Adilabad MP Soyam Bapu Rao for being silent on the issue when the entire tribal society was opposed to the meeting.