Pradeep Pattanayak

The ordeal of a poor family recently evicted from a patch of government land is far from over. The family members are clueless about how to take care of the sole breadwinner who suffered a heart attack on hearing the eviction news. 

Rabindra Behera, a resident of Sailo Jharpada village under Kantapada tehsil in Cuttack district and a daily wage earner, was living with his family in a house built on a patch of government land for many years. His family consists of his widowed mother, wife and children. They were living happily till two villagers moved the court seeking direction for eviction of the family from the government land. 

Hearing the petition, the court directed the Kantapada tehsildar to evict Rabindra’s family. Hearing this, Rabindra suffered a heart attack and is undergoing treatment in a government hospital. 

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Acting on the direction, Gobindapur police in the presence of Sadar sub-divisional officer pulled down Rabindra’s house. 

The rainy season, eviction and Rabindra’s health issues have left the family in the lurch. 

“We were living there for the last 10 to 15 years. Out of jealousy, Sibalabh Jena and Digambar Jena have done this. My father is under treatment in a hospital,” said a visibly worried Rashmirekha Behera, Rabindra’s daughter.  

Meanwhile, the villagers while honouring the court’s decision requested the local administration and the Cuttack district Collector to make alternative arrangements for the roofless family in this rainy season. 

“Sibalabh Jena and Digambar Jena of the neighbouring village had moved court requesting an order for the demolition of Rabindra Behera’s house. Rabindra is a daily labourer. He has nothing to call his own. We are waiting to see what help the tehsildar and the court is going to provide his family,” said Batakrushna Behera, a villager. 

“We have to carry out the High Court’s order. We have no other way out. The house was built on the government land. We will do whatever is possible as per the law,” said Prasanna Kumar Samantaray, tehsildar of Kantapada.

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