Build houses for clash victims: NHRC to Odisha

Bhubaneswar: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has directed the Odisha government to build new houses for families who lost their homes in an ethnic clash in the state two years ago, a petitioner said Saturday.

Acting on a complaint by rights activist Akhand, the NHRC also ordered the authorities to pay appropriate compensation to the affected families.

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Akhand said people from an upper caste attacked Dalit families in Ratakhandi village in Boudh district over some old enmity and torched their houses Sep 18 and 19, 2012.

Although 16 affected Dalit families have been living outside their village since then, the local administration has not taken any action in the matter, he said.

The NHRC had earlier sought a report from the administration, which said it has provided compensation ranging from Rs.1,200 to Rs.15,000 to the victims.

“The amounts paid to the victims are inadequate,” the commission said in its direction to the district authorities, Akhand said.

“The people whose houses have been torched and looted should get their houses constructed at the government’s cost,” said the NHRC letter.

It also directed the Boudh district magistrate to send a report on the relief provided to the victims within eight weeks.