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Suktel Row: NHRC urged to probe police excess on tribals, scribes


OST Bureau
Bhadrak, Oct 9:

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has been urged to probe into the police excess on the scribes and the local tribals in the ongoing Lower Suktel project in Balangir district.

In a rejoinder, Radhakanta Tripathy, a social activist and lawyer of Bhadrak has urged the Commission to constitute a peace committee to maintain law and order in the area, assess the current situation and study the post-project impact to avoid further unrest.

The Commission had earlier asked the Director General of Police (DGP) to submit an Action Taken Report (ATR) over the brutal attack on journalists and tribals by the at Magurbeda in April this year.

While the police lathi charged the protesting tribals and physically lifted tribal women from the project site, it also did not spare the local journalists including Amitabh Patra, a TV journalist and another journalist Lenin Ray who were on the spot to cover the incident, Tripathy has alleged.

Terming the attack on tribals and journalists as a heinous crime and violation of fundamental rights as guaranteed under Article 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution and the provisions of Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Tripathy has urged the Commission to depute its Special Rapporteur to visit the spot, investigate the case, prepare a detailed report with recommendations and to direct the police to release the protestors who have been victimized.

He has also urged the Commission to direct the state government to conduct a proper socio-economic survey of the project to rehabilitate and resettle all the displaced villagers and look into the payment of adequate compensation to the victims who are suffering or shall suffer due to the execution of the project.