//Tribals decline to take back chopped palms

Tribals decline to take back chopped palms

JAJPUR (ORISSA), MAY 23 (PTI)

Families of five tribals killed in police firing at Kalinga Nagar on January 2 last today declined to accept severed palms alleging that the "preservered organs were unidentifiable".

"The family members and representatives of five deceased tribals whose palms were separated for medical examination did not take those back," Jajpur District Collector Arabinda Padhee said.

He said "the district administration had provided vehicles for the family members to come and recieve the preserved palms. They were, however, of the view that the palms were not in proper shape".

Nati Angrai, member of core commitee of Bisthapan Virodhi Jan Manch (BVJM), said "palms of five deceased person were available in the district headquarter hospital. But it is beyond comprehensible that which palm belonged to whom".

Moreover, the palms were "damaged", he said.

Even though the district administration tried "utmost" to convince the representatives of the dead persons, all their efforts went in vain.

On January 2 last, 13 people were killed when police opened fire at an agitating tribal group that had been opposing construction of a boundary wall by a steel company.

Doctors had severed palms of the five dead on requisition of police.

As the matter came to light later, it ignited anger among local tribal community and kicked off hue and cry among human rights activists.