Leaders allege harassment of tribals
BERHAMPUR: A delegation of tribal and other organisations which visited the tribal pockets of Kandhamal has accused the police administration of being hostile on tribal leaders.
Talking to mediapersons after the visit, the delegation, comprising Prafulla Samantara, Bhagaban Sahu, Narayana Reddy and Gananath Patra, said the tribals of the region are raising their voice for justice since they have been subjected to exploitation at every sphere since long. The tribals are also protesting against the corruption among officials dealing with them.
They have united under the banner of the Lok Sangram Manch (LSM) - an organisation committed to socio-economic justice for tribals and secularism. However, the administration of Kandhamal district has been ruthless on the activists of the organisation, the members said, adding, they are being put to inconvenience without any reason.
People in villages under Brahmanigam police station of Baliguda Police Circle, have been the worst sufferers, they said. They cited the example of leading tribal leader and president of the Kandhamal district unit of LSM, Bikram Mallick who was arrested by the police and booked on dacoity chrages.
An appeal has already been made to the chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in this regard, they said. The leaders have requested the NHRC chief to direct the State Government to release Mallick without further delay.