Sambalpur, Sep 24:
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has directed the Sambalpur district collector to provide financial relief to a 40-year-old dalit woman and her family who faced brutal atrocities by their fellow villagers at Jayaghanta village under the Dhama police station limits in Sambalpur district on September 6 last year.
The directive of the Commission came on the basis of an action taken report (ATR) from the district SP on June 11 last.
The incident took place when the younger daughter of the victim, along with her lover Sudam Mahananda of the same village, fled the village in a bus to Jharsuguda. However, Sudam died in a freak mishap when a brief case from the luggage carrier of the bus fell on his head.
Suspecting that the girl’s family had killed Sudam, the villagers lodged a complaint with the police. The panicky family left the village and took shelter in their relative’s house in Baunsara village.
As ill luck would have it, the villagers caught the victim when she came to the village to bring her goats to her relative’s house. The villagers later tonsured and paraded her naked in the village before beating her up severely.
Taking strong exception to the barbaric act, Supreme Court lawyer and rights activist Radhakanta Tripathy had filed a petition with the NHRC over the plight of the victim, who has been living under threat and starvation.
According to Tripathy, the victim, being threatened by the villagers of dire consequences, has left the village with her minor son and daughter and taken shelter at her elder daughter’s house. She has been ill since then due to lack of proper treatment.
In the meantime, the house of the victim has been demolished by some miscreants, he informed the Commission.
Acting on the petition, the Commission had issued notices to the SP and district collector of Sambalpur to file the ATR.
Admitting that the victim family was subjected to exploitation and torture, the SP, in his report to the Commission on June 11 this year, had said that an FIR was filed against 18 accused of which 10 were arrested and the rest eight surrendered before a court later.
He said that the victim was admitted by the police in the VSS Medical College and Hospital at Burla for proper treatment after the incident. She was not willing to return to her village following the warning of the villagers who have demolished her house.
“The victim is presently staying in a rented house at Dhanupali with her husband who is working as a mason. Her two children have been admitted in Jamadar Pali Ashram School. The district collector has been informed for taking steps for grant of compensation to the victim under various welfare schemes of the government. The case is pending trial before the court”, the SP said in his report.
On the basis of the ATR, the Commission has directed the Sambalpur collector to see if any monetary relief could be provided to the victim and her family members.