Woman’s suicide bid during eviction

Angul, May 17: In a shocking incident, a woman tried to commit suicide by hanging during a demolition drive on land owned by the state fishery department adjoining the Narayan Sagar tank here for construction of a mega aquarium Wednesday. 

Sebati Nayak was heartbroken after she watched a JCB machine rolling over houses in the area and demolishing them. 

She hanged herself and tried to commit suicide before the machine could reach near her house. However, police personnel deployed at the site rescued and admitted her to the district headquarters hospital.  Her condition is stated to be critical.

It was a heart-wrenching scene as the JCB machine rolled over the houses of 15 families rendering them homeless. The families were residing in the houses for the last 40 years.

It was all the more painful when people were found running helter-skelter and making last ditch efforts to salvage their belongings before the demolition of their houses.   

According to reports, the fishery department had recently issued notices to the families regarding eviction. They had constructed the houses by encroaching upon the land owned by the department.

The notice sparked fear among the residents who staged a demonstration in protest May 12. Later, they took out a rally and staged a demonstration outside the collectorate, but in vain as the administration refused to entertain their pleas. 

The same night several women even slept on the road outside the official residence of the collector in protest but police intervened and drove them away.  

As a last ditch effort, the residents Tuesday lodged a complaint with the State Human Rights Commission accusing the administration of evicting them from their houses without rehabilitating them when temperature has crossed 45 degree Celsius.    

The eviction drive began in the morning as the JCB machine demolished one after another house. All attempts by the residents to stop the drive ended in vain as the authorities refused to listen to their pleas.    

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