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|Case posted by||Ambedkar Lohia Vichar Manch|
|Type of atrocity||Murder|
|Whether the case is being followed in the court or not?||No|
|Fact finding date||Not recorded|
|Case incident date||22-May-2015|
|Place||Village: Not recorded
District: Bolangir District(DP)
Snehalata Chhatria, lone daughter of Arta Chhatria and Dalimba Chhatria of Sargipali village was missing since she went to Harisankar Nala for bathing at about 7.30 am on 22.05.2015. As her return to home was delayed, her parents and relatives were worried and searched her all around the nala and nearby forest and bus stops/stand. But nowhere was she found. On 23.05.2015 at about 9.00 am the parents reported missing of the girl at the police station and police asked them to search again. At about 4.00 PM on 23.05.2015, they found Snehalata’s dead body near the same bathing ghat where they had been searching many times on the day of incident and also on following day. The dead body was found completely naked, the body was signs of stabbing at different parts of her including private parts. One of her upper sensitive organs was apart. There was also burning of face and other body parts due to pouring of acid on her. The police was informed about locating of the body and they reached the post later joined by the scientific team and dog squad.
Statements of parents of deceased and otherwitnesses
Arta Chhatria- Father of deceased: I am Atra Chhatria father of deceased; I was not in the house when incident took place as I was away for work since morning. At about 9.00 am I received a phone call from my wife that Snehalata was missing since she went to Nala for bathing. I rushed to home and reached there at about 11.00 am and joined for searching my daughter. My daughter was very innocent and she had no enmity with anyone. She has just passed 10th standard this year (2015) from Maharapadar High School. We searched her at all the nearby bus stop and bus stands doubting that she might have been eloped by someone. We could not report to police on the day of incident because we were all engaged in searching. All my relatives from different villages reached and helped us in searching. One of my brothers in law first saw the dead body next day and we all went to see the body, which was laying naked on the bank of same nala where my daughter had gone to take bath. She was stabbed all over her private parts were cut also and her face and body was burnt by acid attack. We could not find her clothes anywhere even we searched dip into the nala. On information given to police about finding of dead body, the police came to the spot with scientific team but the scientific team did not investigate properly. The post mortem is also not done properly because her head and body are not dissected. Revealing the caste tension in the village, Arta said that the tension was begun with caste Hindu communities in 2012 during Asta Prahari on a hot argument over lifting the leaf plates on which the dalit children had taken food in a feast. Since then, we were excommunicated from participating in every social function.
Bhanumati Chhatria, Secretary of Maa Bhairabi Self Help Group: I am the secretary of Maa Bhairabi Self Help group. Dalimba Chhatria, the mother of deceased is the president of SHG. As a self help group, we have been undertaking many actions against social issues. In 2012, An Asta Prahari- a religious function was organized with the involvement of all communities of the village; we were also part of it. We contributed Rs.100 from every scheduled caste family towards the function; besides this our BPL cards were taken to purchase rice for Asta Prahari at the subsidized rates. At the end of function, we had a village feast and we partook in the feast. The caste Hindus alleged that we did not lift the leftover leaf plates after having food and there was a hot argument between SC communities and Caste Hindus over it. As a caste practice, SC communities have to lift leftover leaf plates after having food but for caste Hindus, it is done by Nariha a traditional community service provider in this part of Odisha. In fact all SC members lifted the plates and there might be some children who forgot to lift plates. One of the SC youths lifted the left out plates. Since them the Caste Hindus including tribal communities excommunicated us for all social functions. We requisitioned to convene a village meeting to sort out issues but it went in vain. Hence, we file a complaint against excommunication our community at police station on 27.05.2013, but police did not register the case. However, police opted for an agreement between two communities which was signed on 9.12.2013.
The self help group members headed by Dalimba Chhatria, president of SHG and the mother of deceased took action against illegal liquor trading which was mostly done by tribal communities. As most of the community conflict & tension were aggravated by drinking, we took strong steps against it. We filed a complaint against illegal liquor trading in October 2014 and met Superintendent of Police in November 2014. Police took strong action against it and since then liquor trading was completely stopped in the village.
In 2013, Rameswar Bariha attempted to murder Kichak Bariha who was employing labourers from SC Community.
On 30.07.2014, Laxmi Chhatria and Bhanumati Chhatria were tried to be assaulted threatened to be raped & killed by Padmalochan Bariha near the village bathing ghat. It was presumed that the attack was in connection with action taken by police on liquor trading. However, a counter FIR was filed against Laxmi and Bhanumati on 1.08.2014.
There was another complaint filed by Arta Chhatria, father of the deceased against caste discrimination against SC children in the schools and Anganwadi center on 21.06.2013. Police did not register the case and returned the complaint.