Bargarh (Odisha): Western Odisha's Bargarh district on Thursday, November 19 witnessed caste-based violence with the demolition of a house and 11 toilets. Sources claim that the demolished property belongs to Dalits in the region. The incident took place in Sindurbahal village under Attabira block of Bargarh district.
"Perpetrators were carrying weapons like sticks and iron rods with which they attacked the women and lower caste natives in the village. A woman named Mullah Bagh was seriously injured in the attack while one house and 11 toilets got completely demolished," sources added. According to Police, the oppressed families in Sindurbahal are living their livelihood for 70 years.
The sources further reveal that "The upper caste perpetrators have been threatening to attack them for months". According to the affidavit in the attack case, the accused mentioned in the charge sheet are upper caste people in the village. As per the sources "there is a small hill near to a Dalit Basti. The upper caste people of the village wanted to build a temple over there. In order to make way to that temple, they demolished 11 toilets and one house of Dalits. When the Dalits protested against this, the upper caste people with the help of Bajrang Dal attacked women and people over there".
Speaking with Madhyamam, Ashish Gautham, District President of Bhim Army in Bargarh narrated the entire incident by saying that the attacks are happening on a daily basis here. "More than 200 people gathered in Sindurbahal village and lower caste people got threatening messages from them. As soon as the attack broke out, 10 people from the Bhim Army arrived there. When we reached there, the attackers were carrying sticks and weapons. Police have tried to compromise the case by imposing section 144 in the village"
He also talked about how the victims there never get justice. "Attackers have used weapons like sticks, iron rods, knives. They even attacked women. As compared to eastern Odisha, western Odisha does not have many developments. We have been witnessing under development, the migration crisis and caste-based atrocities. Most of the politicians are doing nothing for us and every demand is just for their vote bank politics," he said.
The caste-based atrocities in Western Odisha have never been reduced.
"Recently some boys from the upper caste used abusive language to eve tease a few girls from lower caste when they were on their way to a pond. When one among the girls questioned these boys, they called other men and physically attacked the girls. Many such incidents are happening here on a daily basis. 100% untouchability is still existing in this place", he said.
"In order to curb the untouchability and atrocities against lower caste people, Bhim Army organizes camps, give them classes and awareness to the people about these attacks. And yet, these attacks are happening again and the state higher authorities are not taking any necessary action against this. When there is an atrocity, they always try to compromise the case," he further added.
In a press meet, Bhim Army in Bargarh has demanded compensation of 10 lakhs for the victims in the attack and asked for the arrest of the accused as soon as possible.
Police have assured that they will take appropriate action against those who are found guilty.