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Harassed by police, woman knocks on OHRC doors


Reported by Santosh Jagdev

Bhubaneswar, Feb 1:

Victim Urmila Pradhan lands SWC for justice (victim number-8093494112)

Urmila Pradhan of Banapur in Khurda district on Saturday registered a complaint against the Inspector-in-charge of Banapur Police station with the Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) for torturing her daughter while she had gone to lodge an FIR and not arresting the accused involved i the case till date.

Urmila, mother of two children, informed that her ordeal started in the year 2009 when some people in her village opposed an electric connection to her home. “We were deprived of getting electric connection for four years due to the opposition,” she said.

After repeated request to the senior engineer of Number-1 Sub-divisional electric office of CESCO in Banapur, the engineer along with his team came to her house on 3 January this year to provide an electric connection to her home. But the same handful of people of her village stopped the engineer from providing a connection and threatened the team of dire consequence if they did so, Urmila said. Apprehensive of trouble, the engineer and his team returned without providing an electric connection to her, she added.

“On the same day Sitaram Baral, Maheswar Swain, Sunil Kumar Baral, along with some other persons of our village barged into my house and started beating me and my two daughters. They threatened us of dire consequences if we bring the matter before police,” she said.

“Not afraid of their threats, I went to the Banapur police to register an FIR regarding the matter but the police refused to lodge a complaint. For 14 days, I, along my daughter, kept knocking at the door of Banapur police for justice but to no avail,” the victim said.

“Finally on January 17, the police did lodge an FIR against these persons including Baral and Swain. On 17th night, the same people came to our home again and threatened to kidnap my two daughters and rape them if I did not withdraw the FIR,” the harassed woman said.

“Failing to get justice till January 29, I, with my daughter, went to the Inspector-in-charge (IIC) again the next day but I was stunned to see that the IIC turned violent and beat my two daughters mercilessly when they requested him to act in the case. The village people have bribed to the IIC not to act on our complaint,” she alleged.

“Today I am here at OHRC to submit a complaint against the police for torturing my daughter as well as to demand stringent action against the police for not arresting the accused,” Urmila said.

Efforts to contact IIC Banapur Prashant Kumar Malla over phone proved futile.