The Supreme Court on Monday sought a response from Orissa government on the allegation that it has left the ethnic tribal Kandhs at disadvantage over the Panas more than 60 per cent of whom are Christians in communally-sensitive Kandhamal district hit by riots last year.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan issued notice to the state government on the charge that Panas, who are Scheduled Castes and well organised, have over a period of time mannipulated the Kandhs to usurp their land.
However, before the Bench, also comprising Justices P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan, sought a reply from Orissa government, senior counsel Collin Gonsalves, who was represneting the Christian community in the Kandhamal riot matter, opposed the application filed by Padmanav Pradhan, President of the Kui Sanskritik Parishad (KSP), alleging it was politically-instigated.
“It is a politically insitigated (petition),” he said about the application which alleged a large number of Panas have become involved with local Maoists who operate around Kandhamal district.
The KSP, representing the tribals, said organisations of Pana and Christians have allegedly grabbed Kandh land and churches have been illegally built on them in some blocks in Kandhamal district.