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More than 200 Lathore arson victims return home after 1 year

TNN | Apr 1, 2013, 02.06 AM IST

BHUBANESWAR: It was homecoming for the 218 Dalit arson victims of Lathore in Balangir district as they returned to their colony from the relief camp on Sunday. They moved to the newly-constructed houses, built under the Indira Awas Yojana (IAY), in presence of chairman of National Commission for Scheduled Castes P L .

Official sources said 40 houses in the colony were allegedly torched by upper caste people following a scuffle between the two communities on January 23, 2012. While 21 houses, which were completely gutted, were replaced by IAY houses, constructed at a cost of Rs 2.10 lakh each, the remaining 19 were repaired to ensure early return of the affected families.

Punia, who was here to unveil a statue of B R Ambedkar at the colony, said the state government is yet to provide basic facilities to victims. “Along with the houses, we had appealed to the government to provide electricity, water connection, roads and toilets in the colony. I will take up the issue with the authorities concerned to ensure proper facilities at the earliest,” he said.

During his visit to Lathore last year, Punia had accused the district police of not restraining the perpetrators from causing damage to property of the Dalits. National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had also served notice on the state government seeking a report on the incident within four weeks.

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