Odisha Rights Panels moved by BJP over arrest of 114 people

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Odisha state BJP moved the Odisha State Human Rights Commission (OHRC) on Wednesday. This was done in protest of the arrest of 114 people, 63 of them being women, in the state. These people were asking for the shifting of a bridge site from their village located in Keonjhar district.

These people belonged to the village of Belbahali in Keonjhar district and were gathered in protest of construction of a bridge over the Kusei River. They were demanding relocation of the site. The agitation ensued in a scuffle with the police on July 7 and this led to arrest of a large number of villagers.

A memorandum was submitted by the BJP before the commission in protest of the arrest and cruel treatment of these people. According to the memorandum, “The police have violated human rights by arresting the villagers at midnight without giving a prior notice to them. To add to this, they dragged them to their vans like animals. We demand that the OHRC take action in the matter so that the release of all the arrested people, especially women is carried out soon.”

The village was visited by a 12-member BJP team, for the purpose of analyzing the situation. They found out that the crown had been attacked by the police with baton and rubber bullets, which caused injury to hundreds of them.

It was also mentioned in the memorandum that there were no women police personnel at the place, when the women were being arrested and they were dragged to the vans by male police.

Moreover, the local hospitals refused medical treatment to the injured. The memorandum further states that at least 7 among the arrested women have children below the age of one year. It said that it is not justified to imprison such women.