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ST panel members visit Dharamsala

Members of the National Commission for Schedule Tribes led by their chairman Nand Kumar Sai visited Dharamsala today to probe the alleged lathi charge on Gaddis, a scheduled tribe of Himachal, by the police. The members met the leaders of Gaddi community at Circuit House and then visited Naddi where the police lathicharged the protesting Gaddis on August 9.While talking to newsmen, Nand Lal said the way police took action against Gaddis reminded him of the British Raj. “Such brutality was unleashed by police only during the British rule. Strict action would be taken against those responsible for atrocities on the Gaddis”, he said.The police had resorted to lathi charge after the Gaddis allegedly tried to stop the cavalcade of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh who had gone there to lay foundation of a development project of Dal Lake. The Gaddis were protesting against the statement of the Chief Minister issued in Una district. Wile taking a jibe at state BJP president Satpal Satti, the Chief Minister had said that even Gaddis have presidents. The Gaddi community took the statement as an insult.Ever since the statement was issued, the Gaddis have been holding protests. Being an election year the BJP has grabbed the issue and its senior leaders like former minister Kishan Kapoor and vice president of ST cell of BJP Trilok Kapoor have led many protests.Trilok Kapoor moved the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes against the police lathi charge. The commission also recorded the statements of the Gaddis who suffered injuries in the lathi charge and visited the spot also.The commission has summoned the district police officers, Home Secretary, Chief Secretary and the DGP tomorrow.

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