Bhubaneswar: The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) has expressed satisfaction with the follow-up action taken by the Odisha government on the death of five innocent residents of Gumudumaha village in Kandhamal district, who were killed during a purported anti-Maoist operation in Malapanga forest on July 8 night.
“In its report, the NCST had observed that the incident was not justified. Acting on the report of the Commission, the Odisha government had constituted a three-member Special Investigation Team (SIT). The SIT, which is slated to submit its report to the Commission in three months, has already completed one and a half months of its investigation so far. The Commission will review the SIT report thoroughly,” NCST chairperson Rameswar Oraon told media persons after a meeting with chief secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi at the State Secretariat here today.
On the other hand, Oraon expressed satisfaction over the action taken by the state government after the incident.
“I must say that the state government has made satisfactory progress in the action it has taken after the shocking incident,” he pointed out.
Notably, three days after the incident, chief minister Naveen Patnaik annoucned on on July 11 the formation of an SIT to ensure a thorough and impartial probe into the incident. Acting on the directive of the Home department, Director General of Police (DGP) KB Singh had constituted a six-member SIT on July 13 with Gurudas Kundu, SP, HRPC as the Investigating Officer (IO) and Ramachandra Gouda, Sadananda Guha, A. Patnaik, Nirupama Sethy and Bijay Bal as the other members.
Talking about the death of 19 children of Juang tribal community in Nagada village in Jajpur district due to malnutrition, Oraon said this is not the only case in the country. Such incidents have been reported from other states as well, he said adding measures are ebing taken to ensure that no child dies of malnutrition.
“I told the chief secretary that the Centre has taken up the matter seriously and will make sincere efforts to ensure that no such incidents happen in future,” he informed.
The NCST chairman also had a meeting with the chief secretary on the action taken report (ATR) of the state government for rehabilitation of the displaced oustees of the Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL)’s Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) project.