Reported by Santosh Jagdev

Bhubaneswar, Aug 2:

Hundreds of dalits of the city, under the banner of National Confederation of Dalit Organisations (NACDOR), Odisha branch, today marched towards Chief Minister’s Naveen Patnaik’s residence here staging a protest against police inaction and the State Government’s silence in cases of atrocities on Dalits in the state.

Photo: Biswaranjan Mishra

The agitators were stopped on their way to the chief minister’s residence by police personnel at Sishu Bhawan chhack under Capital police limits. Police personnel had to resort to a mild lathi charge as the angry agitators ignored the police warning not to enter the area where prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Indian Penal Code were in force.

Around 40 persons, including women, courted arrest while five office bearers of NACDOR, including Ashok Mallick, Litu Das and Sukant Bhoi, were arrested and forwarded to a local court here.

The trigger for today’s protest was the alleged police inaction in a case in which a dalit family of Badatota village under Jatni police limits had been subjected to physical torture and mental harassment by some powerful persons of the same village eight days ago.

Earlier, NACDOR members had informed twin city Commissioner of Police Dr R P Sharma and some concerned bureaucrats by submitting a memorandum on July 27 asking them to take appropriate action against the culprits in the aforesaid case.

They had also demanded protection to the dalits in the state but had failed to get any justice.The next day, the outfit members, along with hundreds of dalits, had staged a protest rally at the Lower PMG here demanding justice on the dalit atrocity cases in state.

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