More than 200 Lathore arson victims return home after 1 year


TNN | Apr 1, 2013, 02.06 AM IST

BHUBANESWAR: It was homecoming for the 218 Dalit arson victims of Lathore in Balangir district as they returned to their colony from the relief camp on Sunday. They moved to the newly-constructed houses, built under the Indira Awas Yojana (IAY), in presence of chairman of National Commission for Scheduled Castes P L Punia.

Official sources said 40 houses in the Dalit colony were allegedly torched by upper caste people following a scuffle between the two communities on January 23, 2012. While 21 houses, which were completely gutted, were replaced by IAY houses, constructed at a cost of Rs 2.10 lakh each, the remaining 19 were repaired to ensure early return of the affected families.

Punia, who was here to unveil a statue of B R Ambedkar at the colony, said the state government is yet to provide basic facilities to victims. “Along with the houses, we had appealed to the government to provide electricity, water connection, roads and toilets in the colony. I will take up the issue with the authorities concerned to ensure proper facilities at the earliest,” he said.

During his visit to Lathore last year, Punia had accused the district police of not restraining the perpetrators from causing damage to property of the Dalits. National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had also served notice on the state government seeking a report on the incident within four weeks.

Attack on Dalit colonies pre-planned, says commission


Dharmapuri, November 12, 2012

PTI

A Dalit woman grieves over the property damage at her house in Natham colony in Naikkankottai on Friday. Photo: E. Lakshmi Narayanan
The Hindu
A Dalit woman grieves over the property damage at her house in Natham colony in Naikkankottai on Friday. Photo: E. Lakshmi Narayanan

Taking a serious view of the recent violence in which 268 huts at three Dalit colonies in the district were set on fire, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes, which visited the violence-hit areas, on Monday said the attack was “out and out pre-planned.”

The Commission inferred from the visit that the attack was “out and out pre-planned and organised crime” against the Dalit community, NCSC Chairman P.L. Punia told reporters.

The violence was triggered after a man committed suicide on November 7 over his daughter’s marriage to a Dalit.

Mr. Punia said the mob had attacked a Dalit family in Kondampatti village where an inter-caste marriage had happened, revealing that they were taking revenge.

Petrol bombs were hurled at four-wheelers, two-wheelers, and valuables looted from houses revealing that it was not a sudden attack but a pre-planned one, the NCSC chairman said.

No casualty was reported. But all the houses in the colonies suffered damaged, Mr. Punia said, adding that the villagers were in a state of shock.

The Commission praised the district administration and police personnel who acted swiftly to arrest 126 culprits in connection with the violence.

As many as 40 houses were damaged and 175 houses were partially damaged, Mr. Punia said, adding that the government had provided only temporary relief measures. The estimated loss was roughly about Rs. seven crore.

The district administration should constitute a peace committee, Mr. Punia said.

As school girls of affected villages felt afraid to go to school, the district administration should arrange buses with police protection for a couple of weeks till the situation returns to normal, the Commission recommended.

The Commission would recommend to the government to constitute a separate body to provide counselling to the victims, Mr. Punia said.

A senior official of the National Commission for SC/ST had visited the three Dalit colonies on November 10.

 

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