Two days after the palms of two bonded labourers were chopped off, Kalahandi police are clueless about the incident. They are still groping in the dark as to who masterminded the gruesome act.
All that Kalahandi District Superintendent of Police Sarthak Sarangi told “Express” was that three teams of the district police are conducting raids at different places to trace the suspected culprits, but without success.
Police are looking for three persons __ labour agents Bimal Rout and Parsu Naik of Nuaguda village under Jaipatna police limits and a labour contractor of Nuapada district. The cops declined to disclose the name of the labour contractor who is believed to be the main culprit and is still at large.
Sources said the police are afraid to name the labour contractor because he enjoys the political patronage of a local BJD leader.
The victims, Nilambar Dhangra Majhi (40) and Bialu Nial (23), who also belong to Nuaguda village, told reporters that their palms were cut off by the labour agents in Belpada forest of Balangir district as they failed to return the advance money given to them.
The agents had paid `14,000 each to 12 labourers in advance on the condition that they would be taken to Hyderabad for work.
As they took them to Raipur instead, 10 labourers became suspicious and escaped. However, the agents caught hold of Majhi and Nial.
The agents told the victims to pay the advance amount or else they will have to pay with their life. They then chopped off their right palms in Belpada jungle.
Manjula, wife of Dhangara Majhi, alleged that she and her father-in-law Madhab Majhi received anonymous calls from three mobile numbers on December 7 and were asked to come to Kantamal village under Nuapada district and pay `2 lakh or else the two labourers would be killed.
Though she claimed to have reported the matter to the SP and Jaipatna PS, police denied receiving any such complaints.