Nayagarh/Ranpur: Residents at a Dalit hamlet at Gundurabari under Ranpur block in Nayagarh district have fled their village since Monday following the untimely death of male members of their families in quick succession, a report said.
An eerie silence prevailed in the village as this correspondent stepped in to ascertain the reason behind the sudden decision of the residents to flee the village.
The houses were found abandoned without doors and windows and belongings. Apparently, the villagers have taken away the doors and windows while leaving.
An enquiry from the neighbouring villagers revealed that the residents in Gundurabari have run away due to ‘curse of deities’.
Inquiry revealed that the hamlet is inhabited by Dalits for the last 150 years and comprises of seven families consisting 55 members.
Life was quite normal for them till some men folk in the village started dying in quick succession over the last six years.
It all started with sudden death of Dayanidhi Naik, 45. Dayanidhi, who is survived by two minor sons and wife, did not have any disease.
The villagers were pondering over the reason behind his death when Maguni Naik, 45, died in the same way. His son Babula, 25, died soon, leading to panic among the villagers.
A few months later, Banshidhar Nayak, 45, and his son Purnachandra, 24, died one after another which shook the villagers to the hilt. The villagers convened a meeting and decided to leave the village forever and settle elsewhere.
Some of them took houses on rent while others took shelter in their relative’s houses. Many of them who do have the means are yet to take shelter anywhere and are roaming here and there like nomads.
This correspondent contacted Basant Naik, the widow of Banshidhar Naik, to get her response on leaving the village.
Tears rolled down her cheeks when she narrated the cursed lives of the residents. She said her husband died at a young age while her son Purnachandra died soon at the district headquarters hospital after vomiting blood.
The doctors were also clueless about the reason behind her son’s death as examinations ruled out any disease. Her daughter-in-law was taken away by her parents.
She is now alone with the meagre Rs 500 allowance and 5-kg rice which she receives with her ration card. She pleaded with the state government to provide help to the distressed residents.