सोमवार, 20 जुलाई 2015

Police atrocity in Belabahali village of Kendujhar district Odisha

Director General  of Poliice, Odisha  was urged  to  withdraw  police force  from   Belabahali village  of Keonjhar district  and  false cases  registered  against hundreds of the villagers.

On 20 July 2015, around  60 representatives of 28  Social Action Groups  staged  dharana  in front of Director General  of Poliice, Odisha, Cuttack and  presented  a memorandum (attached for reference) urging him to withdraw police force from Belabahali village of Keonjhar district  and  false cases registered  against hundreds of the villagers and  release  the people who are in Keonjhar jail. The members of the Delegation who met Sri Sanjib Marik, DG, Police were Sri Debesh Das, Pradip Pradhan, Ashok  Mallik, Raju Singh, Sudhir Mohanty and other  three members.

On 18.7.15, being perturbed  over  repeated news  about  police  atrocity in Belabahali Gram Panchayat  and enemas’ arrest  of hundreds of the people  in mid-night  of 7th July 2015,  a 15-member  Fact-finding Team of Civil Society Groups had visited  to Belabahali village to ascertain the fact about the incident and magnitude of police atrocity and reason of it. The Team members were Pradip Pradhan, RTI Activist, Sri Khirod Rout, advocate, Sri Sudhir Mohaty, advocate,  Sri Raju Singh, Sri Ashok Mallik, Dalit Leader, Social activists like  Pratap sahu, Sachikant Pradhan, Menaka Kinnar, Khirod Routray, Sanjay Sahu etc.

While interacting with the people after physical inspection of the area,  the Team found that the people of Belabahali had been opposing proposed diversion and expansion of the road and construction of new  bridge on 215 National Highway  over Kushei river by National Highway Authority of India and the State  Government on the pretext that it  would create water-logging  and flood in the area and damage 2000 hectares of agriculture  land which would have negative impact on their economy.  While opposing  the proposed  plan of NHAI, They have also been suggesting to the State Government for expansion road of 215 NH as it exists and construction of the bridge on  Kushei River before entry into the village which will be cost effective, less land acquisition and flood free. In support of their demand, they have also been blocking the construction work on peaceful way.

But 7th at around 3 to 4 AM, without any intimation, the police suddenly  started its operation of seizing the village and blocking all the roads to Belabahali  village and started beating up mercilessly the children, women, older persons who were going to river for bath  and open defecation. The Police also arrested many people mostly woman enemas’ and forwarded them to jail. Many older persons have been seriously injured due to police atrocity. 

The Team Members also noticed that the huge police force had been deployed around the village to arrest the villagers at any time. Out of fear and evade arrest, the villagers could not go to agriculture field for cultivation. The children could not go to the school. The students could not go to apply form for admission and entrance test for job. The people who have suffered injury are not allowed for treatment. As reported by the villagers, 63 woman and older woman and 36 male have been put in jail. The police have filed false cases against 1000 of villagers. 

The Team members felt that the villagers have been traumatised and their socio-economic condition getting deteriorated day by day. The daily wage labourers ad dalit  people are also seen suffering due to  police seizing the village, as they could  not go outside for work. Their condition is very critical and  their family members are getting starved.

The Demands of the Civil Society Groups  are as follows.

A.  Take steps to  get released all the innocent people from the Keonjhar jail  and withdraw  all the  false cases registered against them.

B.  Withdraw all the FIRs filed against the villagers as an attempt to suppress the  public opposition to the proposed plan for expansion  and diversion of the road  of 215 NH.

C. Recommend to Chief Minister for Judicial inquiry  into  the police atrocity  on the innocent villagers of  Belbaahali village .

D.  Withdraw all the police force deployed  around the  village

Pradip Pradhan, M-9937843482, Date-20.7.15 

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