BHAWANIPATNA: Additional District and Sessions Judge of Dharamgarh Anand Chandra Behera on Saturday sentenced eight persons to undergo rigorous imprisonment (RI) for life on the charges of chopping off palms of two bonded labourers in Odisha's Kalahandi district, three years back.
The convicts Parbesh Duni, Bana Majhi, Baikuntha alias Baidya Rout, Arjun Bhoi, Gangadhar Das, Jaisen Thela, Kamal Rout and Mantu Nial were also asked to pay a fine of Rs 20,000 each.
According to the prosecution, palms of Nilambar Dhangada Majhi of Pipalguda village and Dialu Nial of Nuaguda under Jaipatna police limits of Kalahandi district were chopped off by a labour contractor and his associates on December 15, 2013 as the duo did not agree to their demand of travelling to Andhra Pradesh to work in a factory.
Nilambar and Nial were part of a team of 12 labourers of Nuaguda and Pipalguda villages who were to be taken to work in a brick kiln at Raipur in Chhattisgarh. They, however, managed to escape when they were being forcibly taken to Hyderabad instead of Chhattisgarh.
The labour contractor and his aides intercepted them and kept them confined before chopping off the palms of two labourers. This gory incidence led to a nationwide concern and caught the attention of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). Later Kalahandi police arrested all accused persons.
Following the intervention of Supreme Court in January 2014 the State Government sanctioned Rs 4 lakh each to the victims. They were also allotted a homestead land and a house under the ‘Mo Kudia Yojana’.
Nilambar, whose right palm was chopped off had died on September 21 after suffering from unknown fever for a prolonged period.