UMERKOTE: A kangaroo court in Nabarangpur district has ordered social boycott of a Dalit family over a land dispute with some villagers. The incident took place at Birsadi village under Umerkote police limits in May this year.
The family of Ganesh Ganda has been ostracised and living a life of confinement for the last four months.
The village committee’s dictum followed after Ganda’s refusal to leave his house allotted under Indira Awas Yojana (IAY) on a plot under his possession since long.
Subsequently, another family claimed the ownership of the plot and the adjacent land over which the house of Ganda was constructed. He forced Ganda to vacate the land.
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On Ganda’s refusal to leave the house, his family members were subjected to social boycott with local shops being asked not to sell anything to them.
The family was also barred from fetching water from the local water body, said a villager. Further, the villagers made a fence around Ganda’s house compelling his family to live a life in confinement.
While the victim has two daughters and a son, their studies have been hampered due to the decision. Now, they are depending on a water body situated 3 km away from the village to attend nature’s call and take bath.
Though police and the district administration are aware of the incident, no action has been taken.
Nagesh Patnaik, a human rights activist who visited the family recently, condemned the village committee’s act and said it should be treated as violation of one’s fundamental rights. “We all have certain fundamental rights under our Constitution.
If the rights are violated, then it is the responsibility of everyone to protest against it. It is the duty of the administration to ensure that the rights are not violated,” he said.Meanwhile, police have registered a case and started investigation.