Govt to submit strategy report on untouchability

Bhubaneswar: The state government has assured the National Commission for Scheduled Caste (NCSC) that it would submit a strategy report on eradicating the practice of untouchability in the state, official sources said on Tuesday.

The assurance was given by Chief Secretary B K Patnaik who along with Director General of Police (DGP) Manmohan Praharaj appeared before the NCSC at New Delhi on Monday.

"The NCSC has asked us to prepare a strategy report on eradication of untouchability. We will submit the report to the Commission within 15 days," Patnaik said after returning to the state capital.

The two officials had been summoned by NCSC to appear before it on July 18 to tell the Commission about the steps taken by it to eradicate untouchability. The Commission had issued the summons after its Chairperson P L Punia visited Ranapada village in Puri district last month.

Punia along with other members of the Commission had visited the village after media report of a ban on Dalits from entering a Kali Temple at Ranapada village in Puri district.

About 70-odd Dalit families of the village had been facing soci-economic boycott by upper caste people after three Dalit girls entered the Kali Temple defying the age-old ban on the community.

Voicing concern, Punia had asked Orissa government to take steps to end untouchability.