Jajpur, Nov 19 (LocalWire): Ten chopped off palms were recovered near Sahid Stamba (Martyrs’ Tower) at Beera Bhoomi Padia (Martyrs’ Ground) at Ambagadia village in Jajpur district, police said on Monday.
Sources at Kalinganagar police station told LocalWire that tribal leaders of Bistapan Birodhi Mancha had preserved palms of 10 people at Bira Bhoomi Club near Sahid Stamba.
These tribal protesters were allegedly gunned down by the police on Jan 2, 2006 while they were agitating against construction of a boundary wall for a Tata Steel project, said sources.
The palms were chemically preserved and kept in a plastic jar after the family members of the deceased had refused to accept them demanding a DNA test.
Bistapan Birodhi Manch secretary Rabindra Jaraka filed an FIR at Kalinganagar police station on Sunday after the palms were reportedly stolen from the club.
“We suspect some miscreants broke into the club on Saturday night and threw away the palms on the field to disrupt law and order situation in the area. We are investigating the case,” said Kalinganagar police station inspector-in-charge Rajendra Narayan Patnaik.
These ten palms of Kalinganagar victims are still waiting for a decent cremation since last 12 years at Ambagadia village.
The doctors of government hospital in Jajpur had chopped off the palms from the bodies to establish their identities through finger prints and DNA test as the faces had completely been disfigured by bullets.
Several leaders and tribals had strongly objected to the severing of palms and refused to accept the chopped palms from the authorities to cremate.
While six tribals were killed on the spot on Jan 2. 2006, six others succumbed to their injuries while undergoing treatment on Jan 3. One of the victims Shyam Gagrai succumbed to bullet injuries on Mar 11, 2006 at All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi and another Sanjoy Soy succumbed later.
In a bid to appease the agitating tribals, the home department had requested the State Human Rights Commission in 2007 to arrange the return of the severed palms. The government had also urged the panel to look into the matter.
The district welfare officer on May 21, 2006 had contacted family members of the slain tribals to hand over the palms. But they reportedly refused to acknowledge the same.. However, on March 7, 2007, the administration managed to convince the relatives and Bistapan Birodhi Manch, an outfit of anti-land acquisition tribals, to receive the severed palms.
Bistapan Birodhi Manch had preserved the palms in a club house at Ambagadia village near the Martyrs ‘ Tower.