RAIPUR: A Sinha family in Rajnandgaon's Dongargaon is among the fifty others who are not allowed farming in their village and his children stopped going to school as no student shares or play with them.
They are the latest among those unfortunate families who bearing the brunt of the diktat of their community who imposed social boycott. Thousands in Chhattisgarh bear the agony of social exclusion, the pain so anguishing for years that some are left with no option except to go for religious conversion, migrate or commit suicide but many silently continue to live distressed life.
The community that imposed ostracism are on the name of maintaining discipline for those who transgresses ritual-traditions, to settle personal scores or even as revenge. In and around the pilgrimage centre of Rajim in Gariyaband district, over a dozen families after having faced the brunt of social boycott for years have converted to Christianity.
The victimised families initially lodged their grievances to top officials including the district collector and the superintendent of police. But the complaints forwarded to local thana where the station house officer instead of taking remedial measures cited such cases as 'not fit to intervene or take action'. "The police ask us to compromise with the community.
It's ridiculous since why will they listen after imposing penalty", said Roshal Lal (changed name). Even TNIE has learnt about couple of hamlets created by the boycotted families for themselves,The evil practice continues unabated with 53 newer cases found previous week.
Among them 5- are from Dongargaon close to the chief minister Raman Singh's constituency Rajnandgaon, said Dr Dinesh Mishra, Raipur-based ophthalmologist and president of Andhshraddha Nirmoolan Samiti which is campaigning against the menace. "Such imposed exclusion from society or community on trivial reasons causes deeper and invisible pain", Mishra added.An RTI application filed with National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) and the state home department seeking the number of cases registered under social boycott complaints.
"Surprisingly, not a single case been registered or recorded. The reason is lack of specific and strict law that can allow the law enforcing agencies intervene directly. Around 26000 people are victim in Chhattisgarh alone", Mishra, recipient of the central government's award for promoting scientific temper. said. The Chhattisgarh DGP A N Upadhyay refrained to speak on the prevalence of social evils and said, "Can't say anything on that".
Chhattisgarh government had drafted specific law Prohibition of Social Boycott Bill 2016 but now it appears silent. "After inviting claims and objections on the proposed bill, the state government might get reluctant, owing to political reasons or the fear of losing vote banks in an election year, to frame a law", said Parivesh Mishra, a political analyst.
"There is no such plan as of now to push the bill on social boycott", Arun Dev Gautam, secretary (Home) told the New Indian Express and cited the provisions under the protection of civil rights act can equally offer relief to victims.