03 February 2007

Dalit Family's Humiliation

Tribal family stripped for shooing away hens
Times of India

BHUBANESWAR: Four members of a tribal family were stripped, beaten up and made to parade naked before their fellow villagers in Chhatam, in Orissa's tribal-dominated Sundergarh district.
Their crime -- trying to chase away some hens that were pecking at their paddy crop.
While the police have already arrested six people in connection with theincident, some more persons involved are likely to be booked soon, police superintendent A.M. Prasad said.
"Some hens owned by Basanti Kerketta strayed into our paddy field. I hurled stones at the hens to shoo them away. The villagers found that one leg of a hen was broken so they imposed this punishment," Masi Prakash Kerketta, the head of the family, told the police.
Things took a serious turn when Basanti Kerketta brought the matter to the notice of the village council. Masi Kerketta, along with his wife and two daughters, was summoned by the local body. All four were then allegedly beaten up.
"No amount of pleading helped us. All the villagers turned against us. We were stripped and paraded naked while the villagers watched," Masi Kerketta told the police. A case has been registered against the mute villagers as well.
Although the incident is said to have taken place on Saturday, the matter was reported to the police only on Monday, Prasad said. "We have received only the allegation of stripping one of the complainant's daughters and on the basis of that we have arrested six persons of the village," he said. "Efforts are on to nab some more persons suspected to be involved in the incident," he added.
Chhatam, situated 60 km from the district headquarters of Sundergarh, is a tribal-dominated village of just about 100 families, most of which fall below the poverty line.(India Abroad News Service)

No comments: