‘Jhodias’ of Kashipur demand ST status

Rayagada: Demanding scheduled tribe status, 'Jhodia' triblas in Kashipur block of Odisha's Rayagada district today observed a dawn-to-dusk bandh affecting normal life.

"The 'Jhodias' of Kashipur observed a bandh today and submitted a memorandum in support of their demand", sub-collector, Rayagada, Pramod Kumar Mishra said.

Shops, business establishments, government offices and banks were closed while vehicular traffic remained off the road during the bandh called by Paroja Samaj led by Jhodias'.

Train service was also hit. Several trains including Jagdalpur-Bhubaneswar Hirakhand Express, Jagdalpur-Howrah Samaleswari Express and up and down Koraput-Visakhapatnam DMU trains were controlled at different stations.

Stating that they had drawn the attention of the state government and Centre many times to their demand, a delegation led by Sumati Jhariani who called on Mishra at Tikiri railway station, said their appeals had fallen on deaf ears so far.

The Jhodias posseed all the criteria proposed by the Lukur Committee (1965). Non-inclusion of their name in the Scheduled Tribe list was causing problems for recognition as ST and depriving them of the benefits provided by the government, Makaranda Muduli, president of Paroja Samaj said.

Forming about 80 per cent of population in Kashipur, 'Jhodia's had boycotted the panchayat elections in the block in 2007 and 2012, general election in 2009 and and the 2011 census to press their demand.