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NHRC seeks report on Dalit family ostracised by villagers

By Staff
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Kendrapada, Feb 22 (UNI) The National Human Rights Commission(NHRC) has directed the Kendrapada District Administration to conduct an inquiry on a dalit family, being socially ostracised by the fellow villagers in a remote village under Rajkanika police station.

Subala Patra, 37, a dalit of Patuli village under Rajkanika police station of Kendrapara district had moved a petition before the Chairman of NHRC alleging that some of his fellow villagers had allegedly threatened him to kill his family and they were socially restricted by the villagers from all quarters.

The villagers, he said, had restrained him and his family members from using the village pond, tubewells on the suspicion that he and his family have embraced Christianity.

According to locals, when Baisnab Patra, the father of Subala, died a few months back, the son did not perform the obsequies as per the Hindu religion.

On the 10th day of the demise of his father, Subal did not tonsure his head as per the rites and rituals of Hindu religion.

Later the villagers suspecting him of embracing Christianity for which he did not observe the obsequies rites, decided to socially ostracise him and his family.

Subala Patra had filed a complaint case against some of the villagers but the police did not take any against them. He then filed a petition before the NHRC, urging it to provide security to his family.

Acting on the petition, the NHRC recently directed the police and district administration to conduct an inquiry and submit the report within a month.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Kendrapara Narayan Bisi, who conducted the inquiry, confirmed that the dalit family was socially ostracised by the villagers. The family, however, did not embrace Christianity, as alleged by the villagers, the Police officer said.

According to the DSP, Subala did not tonsure his head on the tenth day of the demise of his father as he had some allergy on his face and head and the treating doctor advised him not to tonsure his head.

The villagers, however, took it granted that he had changed his religion and embraced Christianity.

UNI XC DP SJC KLC1808

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