Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jul 14:
A team of Odisha BJP leaders, led by former minister Surama Padhi, today approached the Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) and submitted a memorandum on alleged police excess in Belabahali village in Keonjhar district.
In their memorandum, the BJP leaders pointed out that more than 10 women who have been jailed have babies younger than a year. They have been left behind in the village.
They also said there is not enough space in the jail which houses more prisoners than it can handle. Arrest of female protesters by male police officers was another point the memorandum raised.
“We denounce the way injustice has been done to the females and they have been subjected to lathi charge, arrest and imprisonment. 10 mothers, who have infants aged less than a year, have been jailed while their babies have been left behind. Today, we approached the Human Rights Commission and the Mahila Commission to apprise them of the conditions in the village, urged them to bring back peace in the village and demanded early release of the mothers,” said senior BJP leader Surama Padhi.
It may be noted that on July 7, tension prevailed on National Highway 215 in Anandpur subdivision in Odisha’s Keonjhar district as thousands of villagers clashed with the police opposing the construction of a high level bridge over river Kusei at Belabahali village. The district administration had confirmed 12 each from the police and agitators to have sustained injuries in the clash.
More than 100 agitators, including dozens of women, have been arrested in the case.