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Cong stages walkout from Himachal Assembly over untouchability issue


Press Trust of India Shimla
The opposition Congress staged a walkout from the Himachal Pradesh Assembly on Friday over the issue of untouchability in Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur's home district Mandi.
Raising the issue at the start of the Question Hour, Congress MLA Jagat Prakash Negi said some persons did not serve the food to a man in a public feast during Mandi's international Shivratri festival because he was a Dalit.
This happened right under the nose of the administration as this festival is organised by the government, he said, demanding strict action should be taken against the negligent officials.
The Congress legislator said, "The unfortunate aspect is that this incident occurred in CM's home district Mandi. Earlier too, several such incidents of caste discrimination had occurred in Mandi."

Giving a statement on behalf of the state government, state minister Mahender Singh termed the incident as condemnable.
The government has taken a serious note of the matter and police had immediately arrested the two accused in this regard, he said.
The minister said one Sushil had submitted a complaint to police that his co-villagers Dila Ram and Vijay Kumar refused to serve food to him in the public feast (Samuhik Bhoj) during Shivratri festival and also threatened to eliminate him.
The Mandi Police immediately lodged an FIR under the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, Singh said.
Both the accused were arrested and the Mandi SP entrusted investigation of the case to additional SP for further action, he added.
However, the Congress legislators were not satisfied with the minister's reply and staged a walkout from the House.

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First Published: Feb 28 2020 | 10:32 PM IST

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