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Dalits stage relay hunger strike

RAUTAHAT, JUN 22 - The Dalit Struggle Committee staged a relay hunger strike in district headquarters Gaur on Saturday to protest concerned authorities' failure to address their demands. The committee had submitted a nine-point demand, including the arrest of people involved in an attack at a Dalit settlement at Bhingdabar in Pipariya Dostiya-8 in the district on June 7, to the District Administration Office recently. Fourteen people were injured when a mob of the so-called upper caste people attacked the settlement and reportedly destroyed goods and food grains and uprooted a water tap. Sixty-five houses were said to have been vandalised in the incident, which follows a month-long dispute over the Dalits' entry into a local temple. The struggle committee's other demands include formation of a high-level probe team to investigate the incident, immediate distribution of relief to the Dalit settlement and reconstruction of structures destroyed in the attack. Nathuram Pariyar, chairman of the struggle committee, said they were forced to stage the protest as the local administration failed to address their demands. He said their protest continues until their demands are met. The struggle committee members said they will also obstruct vehicular movement on the East West Highway for four hours on Sunday. Chief District Officer Dil Bahadur Ghimire said his office is positive about the Dalits' demands. He said his office informed concerned senior authorities about their demands and initiated action against people arrested in connection with the attack. Posted on: 2013-06-22 09:59