Six persons were arrested on Tuesday for allegedly assaulting a dalit woman and forcing her to eat human excreta at Polenbasa village, about 120 km from Nuapada, police said.
The woman, identified as Uma Bhagat who cooked mid-day meal at an Anganwadi centre in the village under Larka gram panchayat in Boden police station area, was allegedly made to eat human excreta over the week-end due to rivalry between two groups, they said.
Rivalry between the two groups had been brewing after Uma Bhagat was appointed as cook in the anganwadi about a year ago, police sources said adding that her appointment saw some students boycotting the mid-day meals.
Efforts by officials for hammering out an amicable settlement had failed and things took an ugly turn as a verbal dwell took place between Uma and some others on August one when she was gheraoed and made to eat excreta, they said.
A case was subsequently registered and six persons were arrested in connection with the incident, officer in-charge of Boden police station said adding that investigation was in progress.