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NHRC orders relief for Dalit victims of upper caste outrage in Odisha

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau

Bhubaneswar, July 12:

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has ordered the Boudh district collector to pay appropriate compensation to the 16 dalit families of Ratakhandi village under Manamunda police limits in Odisha’s  Boudh district, whose houses were set ablaze and looted by upper caste people on September 18 and 19, 2012.

File photo of Dalit houses burnt by upper caste people in Ratakhandi village
File photo of Dalit houses burnt by upper caste people in Ratakhandi village

The NHRC also directed the collector to build new houses for the victims using government funds and rehabilitate them within eight weeks.

The Commission’s direction came in response to a petition filed by human rights activist Akhand highlighting the plight of the poor dalits.

The petitioner had alleged that upper caste people had attacked the dalit families due to some old enmity in 2012 and also torched their houses.

Since then, the victims have been staying outside the village. He alleged that the police had not take any action against the accused and registered cases even five months after the incident.

Taking cognizance of the complaint, the commission has sought a report from the Boudh district administration.

Akhand said “The administration had mentioned in its report that compensation ranging from Rs 2,500 to Rs 15,000 was paid to the victims. But the commission stated that compensation amount was grossly inadequate and directed the administration to pay appropriate money for their damages”.