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Custodial Death in Rengapalli

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We, the concerned citizens and organisations in Odisha, are shocked and outraged at the death of Pattnaik Harijan, a resident of Rengapalli village, Lanjigarh block, Kalahandi district at the Burla Medical College Hospital while in the custody of Kalahandi jail authorities and administration. He died on Friday, 23 August when he was brought from Bhawanipatna jail with high fever. We are outraged that the jail authorities neither informed his family of his ill health nor even when he was taken to the hospital in Burla, which is more than 200 kilometres from Bhawanipatna. Harijan, a daily wage labourer, is survived by his wife and five daughters. He was the sole earning member of his family. His wife collapsed upon getting the news that his dead body was being brought to the village after four months of imprisonment. She had to be hospitalised.

We, the undersigned, collectively assert that as long as the lives, well-being and dignity of all marginalised communities, especially Dalits, Adivasis and women, are not upheld there can be no real development or progress in Odisha. The continuing repression of the people of the Niyamgiri region has to be brought to an immediate halt.

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Updated On : 13th Sep, 2019

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