Dalits take out rally

Cuttack: Alleging that two senior leaders of the ruling BJD including a minister have hurt sentiments of the Scheduled Caste population of Odisha, hundreds of Dalits under the banner of Jatiya Dalit Mahasangha today rallied in the city.

Holding placards and raising slogans, the protestors demanded action against School and Mass Education Minister Pratap Jena and BJD leader Damodar Rout charging these two leaders of hurting the sentiments of Dalits. They later submitted an 11-point charter of demands to the Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC) (central range).

The protestors alleged that the minister had assaulted a Dalit during the panchayat elections in March this year while Rout, being a minister last year, had made derogatory utterances against the Dalits at a public meeting. Urging the state to initiate action against the two political leaders in accordance with the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act- 1989, the activists in their memorandum also sought security and proper justice to those affected by the atrocities.