Kandhamal deaths: Tribal bodies demand higher compensation

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Bhubaneswar: Even as Special Investigation Team (SIT) began its probe onto the killing of five innocent people in Gumudumaha village in Kandhamal district, tribal bodies on Monday staged demonstrations in various parts of the State demanding an increase in the compensation amount announced by the Odisha government to the next of kin of the victims.

Protesters under the banner of ‘Odisha Adivasi Darbar’ took out a rally in Sambalpur and demanded that the ex-gratia given to the family members of the victims should be hiked.

“Most of the victims were the sole breadwinners of their respective families. Now, they are no more alive. Who will look after their families and especially their children? The compensation amount is inadequate. It has be Rs one crore per family,” a protester said.

Besides, the tribal body has demanded exemplary punishment for the policemen involved in the gruesome incident.

Similarly, Adivasi Kalyan Sangha of Nuapada staged a stir in the town and handed over a memorandum to the Additional District Magistrate (ADM) addressed to the President of India.

“Apart from Rs 50 lakh compensation, one member from each family of the victim should be given a government job. The State government must ensure that the injured get free treatment and Rs 10 lakh financial compensation,” said Dina Himaka, an agitator.

In its nine-point charter of demands, the sangha stated that the State government should beg unconditional apology to the tribal community for the incident that has evoked State-wide outrage.

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