Odisha Fact Finding Mission;Manuski – 19 Houses burnt in Dhenkanal


Due to lose in the Panchayat election the so called upper caste people blamed the innocent dalits of Kamadhenukote village of Dhenkanal district of Odisha. And with a cruel mind they burnt all 19 houses of Dalits. According the report of All Odisha Dalit Youth Organization “Ex-sarapanch Pratap Kumar Swain defeated in the election and blamed them (Dalits) to cause of his defeat and with his follower and friends of upper castes attacked the Dalit hamlet and burnt the houses . They beat the people who opposed them. They looted all the things the Dalits had (money, ornaments). And they abused them as you are bastard pana; we shall kill you and burnt the houses. The incident was started in the morning of DT 12/02/2012 at 7.30 am. District police reached the spot very quickly and handle the situation. Though the police has arrested 3 culprits but the main culprits is yet to be arrested. There are two other dalits vasti(hamlet) sabar sahi and tanla sahi are being threatened by the upper castes. The victimized families got RS 10,000 from district red cross fund by the district administration.

Village Kamadhenukote, Panchayat Dhirapatna, Block Sadar, District Dhenkanal, it was day 11-Februry, when Panchayat election held in the particular place. The BJP panchyat leader Pratab Swain, who was fighting for Sarapanch, was also an Ex- Sarapanch from last 10 year in the particular Panchayat as a post of Sarapanch who lost the election by 24 votes. In the next day12-February of morning Pratab Swain at 7.30 am came to Pana Dalit Sahi (Vasti) with his supporter mob 100 people. The scene carnage started at 7.30am, it was small halmet (Sahi) where 21 families are living, 28 houses and population is 72. The upper caste mob started abusing in name of caste to all Pana dalits, as you are basted, bagger, you have no prestige, status and dignity, and women were also abused illogically language by same mob and they said, we will kill you, by saying this they started burning the houses and beat vehemently to some Pana people, by fear of this violent mob the Pana dalits could not able to face it. During the time the mob took the goats and hens also. The upper caste mob burnt the houses very easily because all the houses are made in hut and soil. It went up to 2 hour when fire brigade arrived to the spot at that time all houses were burnt and pieces in to ashes. The upper caste mob attempted to murder but fortunately no one was murdered. There are other dalit sahi(Vasti) those are Sabar and Tanla Sahi. In the Tanla Sahi, especially the men who are livings still outside of village, because they are getting threaten from the violent mob (We had a meeting with these fearful people Date 14-Februry). And the Sabar Sahi who were attempted to attack by the same violent mob, but women from the Sabar sahi strongly saved them so they were saved.

When police reached, the culprits were disappeared from the place; hence police is able to arrest only 3 culprits, the main culprits are yet to be arrested; now police is searching them.

On the day 14 February when we arrived to Kamadhenukote at the place where victims are staying there, it was a Kirtan pendal and two black polythene tent (Tambu) and very small 10/10cooking places, which was the relief camp by the administration where the homeless victims are maintain their shelter.

From February 04 to 08 when Pana Sahi was observing the Kirtan Pahari, it is worshiping of Rama and Krishna where different Pana Kirtan Pahari team chanted the Rama and Krishna. Soon after the programme the Ex- Sarapanch Pratab Swain gave vow to whole Pana voters to vote for him by taking swear in the name of Goddess Mamangala Temple. Which was an undemocratic principle, not only that the candidates election manifesto and leaflet against the secular values but also he made his election leaflet like Hindu fundamentalist; in his election poster he was written “Om Namah Sibay” which is also unconstitutional and some victims say that he has closed relationship with district BJP president Krushna Patra who is a VHP leader.

About the village; the Kamadhenukote, in the village mostly Paik, Mahanty, Barik, Sethi, Pana Sahi is outside of the village, situated in forest area, a small hamlet the population of 72, Pana are untouchable in the village, and untouchability is extremely practice, still the pana are not allowed to use the public places examples like; cannot take water from touchable Sahi (Vasti), while they go for purchasing goods they did not receive by hand to hand, Pana cannot involve in any public welfare activities of the village. Many time untouchable Pana are humiliated and tortured in the name of caste. The Pana Sahi is educationally, economically and socially very poor. From the whole Sahi one man only reached to an intermediate level. The 95 % houses are made in hut and soil, 90 % people are getting without BPL, 90 % people are worker and land labourer. From 21 families, 2 families under BPL list, 2 have Indra Avash colony, two got old age pension and 1 Antardoya.

The background of carnage; it is an expression of agony and viciousness of the BJP Panchayat leader who lost the election by 24 votes, the marginal dalit did not vote for him, by the taking advantage of marginality the upper caste Pratab Swain with mob took the revenge by burning the Dalits houses. He attacked Pana because, Panas are poor, innocent, uneducated, and who can be used by them only.

The Government initiative: we met collector and superintendent of police from their report, both departments took serious steps. When incident occurred from onwards, police has arrested 3 culprits many more culprits are to be arrested. The superintendent of Police said that there is not adequate police force. The FIR is registered in the police station against the accused persons. The cases are atrocity, burning and attempt to murder, SEC 3 .The immediate relief from government is insufficient, the homeless victims are staying in relief camp, the relief camp is in tents Tambus which are made by polythene and…which are improper accommodations. Of course the government is providing food but low in quality, Government has distributed immediate clothes, utensil, books, and dresses, from Red Cross 10,000 rupee is given to each victims’ families, 2 lakh rupees yet to give. Report from collector the election commission has ordered 7 days relief due to the state Panchayat election. He also accepts the fault that the administration is baseless because they do not have sufficient funds. Worthless to say that the collector also does not about the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocity Act 1989. We met state human rights commissioner; we gave a memorandum to the officer. He rather speaks about the issue but diverted to corruption.

From our fact finding it has been proved that, the caste violence is grossly pervasive in Odisha in the contemporary situations. The upper caste people socially, politically and economically dominated. The administration unscrupulous because there are hundreds of caste atrocities is prevailing throughout the state. The ruling government Navin Patnaik BJD is unable to provide justice to the victims. Still there are hundreds of cases which are unregistered.

2 Responses to “Odisha Fact Finding Mission;Manuski – 19 Houses burnt in Dhenkanal”

  1. Take your caste share of land FC(5-15%), BC(50%), SC/ST/Minorities (35-45%) as per “Communal Award” and go build your own nation. These inhuman/uncivilized things won’t happen.

  2. Pradeep Kumar Rout,
    S/O: Kumar Rout,
    OSAP 4Th SS Bn, Malkangiri,

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