Odisha Human Rights Commission asks cops to bring SC voters to booths

The directive came following a petition filed by Baghambar Pattanaik, who is leading a campaign against caste-based bondage in the state under the banner of Odisha Goti Mukti Andolan.
Odisha Human Rights Commission headquarters in Bhubaneswar
Odisha Human Rights Commission headquarters in Bhubaneswar (Photo| Twitter)

BHUBANESWAR: The Odisha Human Rights Commission has asked Brahmagiri police to ensure ostracised SC voters of the block exercise their franchise safely on Saturday.

The directive came following a petition filed by Baghambar Pattanaik, who is leading a campaign against caste-based bondage in the state under the banner of Odisha Goti Mukti Andolan. The commission has directed the IIC of Brahmagiri police station to take the ostracised voters of Nuagaon and Manapur, who are now settled in various villages near Brahmagiri, to their respective polling booths in the villages in police vans and drop them back in their houses after they cast their votes.

There are 41 voters belonging to the SC families of Nuagaon and Manapur. Four families of Nuagaon, which have 20 voters, were ostracised from their village in 2018. The families are of Ashok Sethi, Charan Sethi, Bhabagrahi Sethi and Sindhu Sethi who are ‘dhoba’ by caste.

They were ostracised in 2018 for refusing to wash clothes of upper caste people during ceremonies. Similarly at Manapur, 21 villagers faced social boycott for saying no to caste-based bondage. Earlier, the voters had expressed fear of being attacked by upper caste members if they go back to their villages to vote.

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