DHENKANAL: Locals have flayed the police administration for its failure in initiating any tangible action into two major fire incidents that left many homeless.
The main accused in the Kamdhenukote fire incident, Pratap Swain, is yet to be arrested by Dhenkanal police.
On February 12, in Kamdhenukote village under Sadar block, houses of SC community were allegedly torched by the supporters of the defeated sarpanch candidate Swain. As many as 19 families were rendered homeless in the fire.
Even as a number of persons have been arrested in connection with the case, the prime accused continues to remain elusive till date.
Following the incident, National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) Chairman P L Punia had visited the Kamdhenukote village and held discussions with the affected villagers.
Punia had said even as the State Government was quick in extending relief to the affected families, the rehabilitation measures and financial assistance are not adequate. He had expressed dissatisfaction over police administration’s failure to nab the main accused and his accomplices, whose names figure in the FIR. Punia had demanded Swain ‘s arrest at the earliest.
IIC of Sadar police station Manas Gadnayak admitted Swain is still at large. “Investigation by the DSP is in progress,” he said.
Likewise, a fire from a cracker factory killed five persons and injured over 25 at Kansara village of Hindol sub-division in the same month. At least 60 families were rendered homeless and 150 houses affected in the fire.
The villagers alleged that the cracker unit owned by one Lochan Amat, who died in the incident, had been functioning for the last 20 years in connivance with the local police.
Hindol police had promised to initiate action against errant officials who helped Lochan in running the cracker unit.
However, no action against any officer has been taken till date.