Tribals in Kandhmal allege police atrocities

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Bhubaneswar, Oct 19 (UNI) The tribals in strife-torn Kandhmal have alleged large scale police atrocities in clear violation of human rights and urged the Orissa Human Rights Commission to intervene and conduct a fair probe to punish the guilty.

''The CRPF jawans, deployed in the trouble-torn district in the wake of communal violence, are raiding the houses in the dead of the night in the absence of the male members, who have fled to the forest fearing police action, and assaulting the women members,'' the Vanavasi Kalyan Ashrma (VKA) said at a news conference here today.

VKA general secretary L K Das, in a memorandum to the State Human Rights Commission and Women Commission, demanded a high level independent inquiry into the alleged police atrocities on women in Kandhmal.

''A large number of innocent people, mostly Kandhs, including women and children, are still bearing the burnt of the police atrocities for no fault of theirs,'' the VKA said and urged the Human Rights Commission to uphold the law of the land.

The VKA general secretary said the Christians, who had taken shelter in the relief camps, had been busy in filing FIRs using the voters list, accusing the tribals for their involvement in the riots.

The CRPF and police, accompanying the Christians, were assaulting the people and indiscriminately arresting them, he alleged, adding that even the Christians were dressed up in police uniform to identify the tribals during raids in the villages.

Mr Das further alleged that the police were entering the houses forcibly, knowing very well that male members had fled to the jungles, and assaulting women.

''Unable to bear the police torture, the women, who had gone to the police stations to lodge FIRs against the CRPF jawans, were being threatened to be arrested and sent to jail if they lodged any complaint,'' he added.

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