Rashmi Rekha Das

The practice of social ostracism is horrific, yet it tragically continues to be part of our contemporary world. If not, 200 Dalit families of Bauri community of Haridapadar under Aka block in Ganjam district would not have to suffer from the pain of banishment for the last three months.

As many as two hundred people, who have been allegedly ostracized by upper caste people, on Friday mobbed the office of Inspector General (IG), Berhampur seeking justice. The protesters alleged that people belonging to the upper caste have deprived them of their basic rights. 

Apart from shunning them from using water and roads, the upper caste people are allegedly not allowing their kids to go to school and Anganwadi centre. Besides, these Dalit people are not even allowed to visit doctors, said sources.

Reportedly, police intervention into the matter did not yield any positive results. Police talked to both sides to resolve the issue, but in vain.

Finding no other go, as many as 200 families approached IG Berhampur and submitted a memorandum seeking lifting of the banishment tag on them.

“All of a sudden we were not allowed to go Bandabadia village. Roads leading to the village were closed for us. Temple was banned for us. Even we were not allowed the visit doctors,” said a woman from Bauri community.

Another agitator said, “In Haridapada village, 200 families were ostracised over caste issues. Schools and Anganwadi centres have been banned for students. Though we have informed Aska police in this regard, police are yet to take any action against the rule makers. We also informed the matter to local MLA, but the latter failed to do anything,” said an agitator.

Another demonstrator alleged, "Tehsildar had resolved the issues by holding discussion with both the parties. However, people belonging to the upper caste did not obey the order. That’s why we have come to IG office seeking arrest of the upper caste people under CRPC 108 and justice for us. The state government should introduce a law to take action against such people."

Comments of the officials concerned over the allegations could not be obtained.