Ostracism Is Inhuman Practice: OHRC Seeking Report On Social Boycott Of 40 Families
Bhubaneswar: Taking strong note of alleged ostracism of 40 families in Dhenkanal district by upper caste people, the Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has directed the district administration to inquire into the matter.
The commission after taking a suo motu cognizance of the case noted that ‘Social ostracism/boycott is an inhuman practice which requires serious attention and action by the State authorities.’
The commission also referred to a recent observation of the Orissa High Court which stated that “Indian caste-based society where an individual or families position with the community is a source of identity and belonging, ostracism or social boycott is akin to living death.”
The panel said it came across the news item that 40 Scheduled Caste families of Kantio Kateni village under Tumusinga police station in Dhenkanal district have been living in fear after people from the upper castes allegedly excommunicated them from the village.
The issue allegedly got momentum from a trivial matter of confrontation between two groups of scheduled caste and upper caste people over plucking of flowers by some girls of the SC community. Subsequently, SC community people were barred from going to shop, share-cropping, doing work under MGNREGS, taking out procession, participate in social functions.
The rights panel has cautioned the authorities to take effective steps against the persons responsible for it after due inquiry and submit report.
Dhenkanal Collector and Superintendent of Police have been asked to enquire into the matter and submit their respective reports to the Commission by the next date on September 15.
(Edited By Suryakant Jena)