State dalits seek NCSC’s intervention

Bhubaneswar: The Orissa State Schedule Caste-Scheduled Tribe Youth and Student Council have sought intervention of the National Commission for Scheduled Caste against politicians including Health minister Damodar Rout.

"It is seen that political persons like ministers, MPs and MLAs belonging to the present party in power in the state are involving themselves in heinous atrocity against SCs and STs," the Council said in a memorandum to NCSC.

Seeking NCSC chairman P L Punia's intervention, it alleged that besides health and family welfare minister Damodar Rout, cases have been lodged against senior BJD MLA Pradip Maharathy in the rape of a dalit girl at Pipili, former minister Pratap Kumar Jena and Rudra Madhav Ray, party MP from Kandhamal.

"These BJD leaders are named directly in cases of atrocity against scheduled caste people," said council president Haladhar Sethy who led a 35-member delegation to meet Punia in Delhi.

Senior BJD leaders, however, dismissed the allegations and said the law was taking its course in cases cited by the dalit leaders.