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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Members of as many as 11 tribal organisations staged a demonstration in front of the Khordha SP office on Tuesday demanding the immediate arrest of Manas Das, chief of the controversial ‘Manabavad Sangathan’ (Humanitarian Organisation).

 “Manas Das should be immediately arrested. His organisation is torturing, harassing and extorting innocent tribal people under the garb of fighting for their cause. Apart from his arrest we also demand immediate ban on his organisation,” said a protestor.

As per reports, the so-called ‘Humanitarian Organisation’, which is presently under the scanner following allegations of Taliban-like atrocities perpetrated by its’ members on tribal people, is said to have been functioning like a full-fledged political outfit over the years under the leadership of Das. Apart from brutally assaulting a father-son duo in Khordha recently, a video of which went viral, members of the organisation have also been charged with killing a man sometime back.

The political link of the head of the organisation, Das, a lawyer by profession, has also come to the fore, making matters even murkier.

A video doing rounds on social media shows the clout of Das, addressed as Guruji by members of his organisation. In the undated video, Das could be seen receiving a rousing welcome with bodyguards in tow while people scurrying after him. At one point in the video, some people could be seen showering flower petals on him while others rush in to touch his feet.

Some BJD leaders have also come under the scanner after their alleged political links with Das surfaced in viral videos on social media. 

Many people have also come forward to narrate tales of torture and harassment they had suffered at the hands of the members of the organisation at the behest of Das. 

Das has however, steadfastly refuted all charges against him.

“All allegations against me are baseless and those should be investigated. I don’t mind what people are saying against me. ‘Manabavad Sangathan’ is also working outside Odisha and we have organisations in Assam too,” said Das.

As per sources, Das formed Manabavad Sangathan in 2005 and eventually joined the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in 2018. Under the patronage of the political party in power in Odisha, the organisation continues to spread its wing across the State.

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