After casteist slurs were raised against Andhra Pradesh’s ruling party YSRCP MLA, Undavalli Sridevi at a Ganesha Pandal in Thullur recently, she has demanded strict action taken against the party workers of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) who raised casteist slogans against her. The Gynaecologist-turned-politician claims a group of persons abused her in the name of her caste and began assaulting her even as the puja was going on. Some of them had even damaged her car.

“When I became the MLA, they couldn’t digest it because they did not expect to lose from this constituency. So whenever I go to Thullur side, they try to suppress me by shouting all these caste-related comments to discriminate against me,” Sridevi told SheThePeople.TV adding that she is a doctor by profession who practices out of Hyderabad but she was born and brought up in Thullur.

Key Takeaways:

  • Dalit MLA of Tadikonda constituency, Undavalli Sridevi gets humiliated on the basis of her caste when she visited a Ganesha Pandal in Thullur, Andhra Pradesh.
  •  Sridevi registered a complaint with the police and it arrested three members of the Telugu Desam Party.
  • Sridevi claims that police did not charge the offenders with atrocities against SC/ST Act that’s why they were freed within two-three days of arrest.
  • She has now approached NCW with her complaint.

“They think that they can do whatever they want and I will not speak up but I cannot let these people go,” she says. She met with National Commission for Women chief Rekha Sharma to register her complaint with the commission on September 13. NCW has shown serious concern over discrimination based on gender and caste and registered case against unidentified people from Ananthavuram village. Commission has decided to take up the matter with police officials and sought a report from DGP Andhra Pradesh, ANI Tweeted.

“My fight is to get these people punished so that more and more people who commit crimes against Dalits are scared and hence deterred from such things. I haven’t seen people getting punished in such cases and offenders went scot-free that’s why it continues to happen.

Sridevi also filed a complaint with the Guntur Rural Police which subsequently booked cases against TDP party workers Kommineni Sivaiah, Kommineni Sai, Kommineni Ramakrishna and Kommineni Bujji, and charged them under sections 509, 294 r/w 34 IPC, SC, ST (POA) Act. On September 4, police arrested Sivaiah, Sai and  Ramakrishna, who allegedly prevented her from performing puja at the pandal and remarked that the place would lose its sanctity if the Dalit MLA broke a coconut there.

Talking about the atrocities happening with the Dalit community in the country, “My fight is to get these people punished so that more and more people who commit crimes against Dalits are scared and hence deterred from such things. I haven’t seen people getting punished in such cases and offenders went scot-free that’s why it continues to happen. This is not the only or the first incident that happened with me and I am not going to take it anymore.”

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“While people were arrested they all came out within two-three days as the sections under which they were booked were very superficial and did not comprise of the section against atrocity against SC/ST. They put in some sections that we did not understand and then the police said that those people are booked and arrested but the charges were not around caste-based atrocities,” she claims.

She also talks about the fact that when she can be discriminated against despite being the MLA, then the situation for common people belonging to the Dalit community is even worse. “People need to raise their voice against caste-based discrimination. MLA or not, it doesn’t matter to me. I will go back to my hospital and practice there but at least when I am working people should benefit from it. Being a woman, I know that there is dual discrimination that women have to counter to reach a certain position in politics. Despite reaching that position, if I have to be subjected to humiliation. I will not take it,” Sridevi contends.

Picture credit: MSN.com

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