September 26, 2009 4:37:45 am
Police in Kerala have stumbled upon a shadowy extremist Dalit outfit that they suspect is working clandestinely to radicalise Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities in the state.
The so-called Dalit Human Rights Movement (DHRM) is learnt to be under the scanner for the murder of a middle-aged man in Varkala near Thiruvananthapuram recently. The victim was hacked to death in particularly brutal fashion while on his morning walk. The same morning,another person was attacked in a similar manner,but he survived.
Top police sources said they were looking at the attacks as an attempt by the DHRM to demonstrate its strength. Seven DHRM activists have been detained,they said,but declined to provide details.
The DHRM is based in Kochi and works as a structured and disciplined organisation. Members wear a uniform of black shirts and blue trousers. They are believed to have been operating silently in SC and ST colonies in south Kerala over the last two years,and begun only recently to assert themselves.
Little is currently known about the DHRMs finances and funding lines,police sources said. The outfit recruits both men and women from the colonies it works in,spreading anti-mainstream propaganda,and urging Dalits to minimise interaction with upper castes. Recruits are reportedly trained at night in their own colonies.
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