Nayagarh: A family of Kotgarh village under Rajsunakhala panchayat in this district had to undergo humiliation and bear physical injuries after they were painted as thieves by ‘cot practice’ – a practice that is based on superstition and has no scientific backing.
Even though the family has approached the office of Nayagarh superintendent of police seeking justice, no action has been taken yet.
According to reports, miscreants had looted money and ornaments from Bhaskar Dora’s house May 18. Bhaskar had lodged a complaint with the Rajasunakhala police outpost on this context. It was when the police failed to get any clue on the robbers, Bhaskar decided to take up the case with the villagers.
In a village meeting it was decided to use ‘cot practice’ to trace out the robbers.
Based on the decision, a cot system was brought to the village May 10 and the master of the cot made the bearers move around in the village carrying that wooden cot. After moving around for a while, the cot stopped at Geetanjali Dora’s house – suggesting her family as thieves.
Based on the inputs provided by the cot system, some elderly villagers went to her house the same night to discuss the incident. However, Geetanjali denied being involved in the incident in any way.
The next day, another meeting was held in the village where Geetanjali pleaded her innocence.
At about 2:30pm, Bhaskar, his wife Damayanti, brother Kusuni and his wife Golap allegedly approached Geetanjali’s house and attacked her along with her sister Tukuni and sister-in-law Tulasi with iron rods and machetes. They were treated at Rajsunakhala government hospital that day.
The family has been on the run in fear of their lives ever since.
Even though they have registered their complaint at Ranpur police station, no action has been taken so far. While they tried to meet the SP Wednesday, the plan didn’t materialize since he was absent.
When contacted, Ranpur IIC Baidyanath Bhoi said both Damayanti and Geetanjali have registered separate complaints. The police are investigating into both the complaints after registering two separate cases.
That said, a family being branded as thieves following the outcome of a shady practice in broad day light and subsequent physical assault on them certainly calls the capability of police into question.