Chopped palms of five tribals killed found scattered in Odisha club
Preserved palms of five of the 13 tribals killed in police firing in Odisha’s Kalinga Nagar in January 2006 were found scattered near a memorial pillar on Sunday. The palms were preserved inside a club near the pillar.
“We believe it to be the handiwork of a deranged person who was moving around the club a few days ago. The chopped palms were most likely taken out by breaking the locks of the club last night,’’ said Kalinga Nagar police station inspector-incharge Rajendra Patnaik.
The palms were chopped supposedly to obtain the fingerprints of the five as their faces had been disfigured after being fired from a close distance indiscriminately in 2006. The police had fired on the tribals opposing their displacement for a Tata steel plant after a constable was killed in an arrow attack. A 14-year-old boy was among the 13 killed while 37 were injured. Four policemen were also injured. Three doctors, who had chopped the palms during postmortem, were later dismissed after the state Human Rights Commission found it was unnecessary and violation of norms.
Rabindra Jarika, the secretary of a local tribal body, alleged the palms were thrown to disrespect their sentiments ahead of the anniversary of the massacre. He said authorities had preserved the palms and promised their DNA tests. “We have never accepted these palms to be belonging to our people and demanded their DNA tests. It is yet to be done.”
Last year, the justice PK Mohanty Commission, which probed into the firing, did not find anyone guilty for the firing.