Bargarh, Nov 15:
Tension prevails in Kuamania village under Melchamunda police limits in Sohela block following clashes between upper castes and dalits.
A dalit family, including women, injured in attacks by upper caste villagers on Thursday met the collector at his residence seeking protection against attacks.
The dalit family, in its complaint before the collector, alleged that some members of the upper caste families had beaten up two women of the family and had even undressed them in the presence of the police. The men had also ransacked their houses, they alleged.
According to the complaint, the dalit family had lodged an FIR on November 9 with the police accusing upper caste men of having misbehaved with their women. On November 11, while a police party was conducting an inquiry into the incident at the upper caste enclave in the village in the afternoon, a group of upper caste men pounced on Laxmi Mahanand and Mithila Deep while were returning after taking a bath in the bundh (large pond). Sunil Pradhan, Biranchi Barik, Ashwini Barik and Niranjan Meher stopped them and undressed them, the dalit family has alleged in its complaint to the collector.
Later Tarani Pradhan, Umakant Pradhan, Jagabandhu Meher, Narendra Pradhan, Jitendra Pradhan and others pelted stones at their huts and ransacked their roofs while police stood a mute spectator, the family alleged in its complaint.
The collector ordered the police administration to provide security to the aggrieved dalit family as well as deploy police in the village to defuse the situation.