Nayagarh: Two sisters, Parbati Majhi and Daimati Majhi from Lamataput village near Machhkund in Koraput district are on a ‘Swabalambi Yatra’, touring different districts of the state to narrate the physical and mental torture they had to endure from fellow villagers after their dad’s demise.
The two started their journey last December and have so far covered Malkangiri, Koraput, Rayagada, Kalahandi, Ganjam, Puri, Khurda, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Jajpur, Bhadrak, Balasore, Mayurbhanj and Dhenkanal districts. Currently they are in this town.
Their mother died in 2015, while father Dasarath Majhi passed away December 5, 2016, while undergoing treatment at a government hospital in Lamtaput.
The sisters had brought their father’s body to their house for his final rites. Parbati had sought the help of her friends, relatives and neighbours, but none turned up.
The body remained in front of the house for the whole night. Next morning, their dad’s friend Balaram Majhi came to their rescue. The trio then visited to Sindhuput to get firewood.
While returning home, they found the villagers in a belligerent mood. Accusing the sisters of killing their father, the villagers did not allow them to take the body to the crematorium ground. They were also denied to right to light the pyre.
“The enemies of our father came to the villagers’ support. Later, the villagers hid the body somewhere, denying us from performing the last rites of our father,” they alleged.
Thereafter the villagers reportedly started harassing them. Twelve villagers cut a costly tree from their backyard and took it away. When the girls protested, the villagers abused and attacked them. Even the villagers locked their house after evicting them.
“We had reported the matter at Machhkund police station. But no action was taken against the accused as they are BJD supporters,” the girls alleged.
“After we met the Superintendent of Police, Koraput HRPC DSP Narahari Mishra and other officials recorded our statements. Yet justice eluded us,” Parbati complained.
Instead, acting on a false case registered against them by the villagers December 17, the police abused the sisters.
After their meeting with SP brought no result, the sisters attempted suicide but the cops on duty rescued them.
Though the case was referred to the Crime Branch, it also proved futile. “The Koraput SP took our signature after promising help but it was used to close the case,” they alleged.
Demanding the arrest of the 12 accused, stringent action against investigating officers and compensation, the sisters staged a demonstration in Bhubaneswar between December 2017 and October 2018.
But none came forward to help them. They even registered a complaint with the Chief Minister.
When all their attempts failed, the sisters decided to start the ‘Swabalambi Yatra’ to let people know about their troubles.
They were seen even requesting people not to vote for BJD or BJP in the general elections. “We are penniless. Sometimes we get some assistance from people but quite often we spend nights without food,” they said.
They travelled to different places as part of the protest on buses and trains and when they had no money, they walked to reach their destination.
Moved by their sorrowful journey, people took pity on them and asked the same question as the duo have been asking for long: “When will they get justice?”
Their protest journey is set to conclude April 30.