KOIDA (SUNDARGARH):Following reports of an ostracised Dalit family being refused help by villagers to cremate its head Phagu Penthi (50) at Ganua village of the remote Koida block here, the district administration swung into action on Friday and ordered an inquiry.
As per reports, the family of Phagu was banished by villagers of Scheduled Caste community, last year. Phagu’s family was ostracised after his eldest son touched a youth of a lower caste.
Phagu died early on Thursday, but no villagers turned up to help the family to perform his last rites till the evening.
Moved by their plight, social activist Badal Barik and local Sarpanch Dibakar Naik finally arranged a jeep and with the help of an excavator borrowed from a mine, Phagu’s body was buried. Reportedly, the Sarpanch has also released `2,500 under Harischandra Yojana. It is learnt that at the time of Phagu’s death, his widow Asha, 12-year-old son and daughter-in-law were present.
His two other sons, who work as labourers, were away. Contacted, Sundargarh Collector Vineet Bhradwaj said `10,000 has been released for the bereaved family and Koida Tehsildar asked to inquire into the incident. He said the next public grievance meeting would be held at Koida on July 31 and if the incident turns out to be true, then sensitisation programme would be organised.