Rayagada: Zilla Adivasi Mahasangh, a local tribal outfit, today called for Rayagada Bandh on January 5, 2024, seeking justice against torture, burning, and murder of tribal people in the district.
“A tribal youth leader Bhagirathi Mandangi was killed on December 15, 2010, around 13 years ago and the murder mystery has not been unearthed yet. Another tribal youth leader Purushottam Gamango was killed on December 26, 2019, and the murder case faced the same fate. Recently, a tribal girl Laxmi Majhi who belonged to Chandrapur-Kashipur in the district was killed and she awaits justice,” an office-bearer of the tribal outfit said in a press conference held here earlier in the day.
“Rayagada is a tribal-populated district and around 70 per cent of its population belongs to the tribal community. Protesting injustice against the tribal people, we call for Rayagada Bandh on January 5. We appeal to all associations in the district to extend their support to us,” the tribal leader added.
“If our demand seeking justice in these three murder cases will not be met soon, then we will resort to agitation in the days ahead. The district and local administrations will be held responsible for the occurrence of any sort of untoward incident in the future,” the Mahasangh office-bearer warned.
Worth mentioning, on Friday, Odisha Crime Branch commenced its inquiry at the ‘Maa Gruha,’ where Laxmi Majhi served as a warden. The team, led by DSP Narendra Behera, conducted an extensive probe, questioning four colleagues and the organisation’s director Nrusinghanath Mohapatra. Sources revealed that Majhi’s neighbours were also questioned in connection with the case.
Reports suggest that the initial findings of the Crime Branch leaned towards suspicion that Majhi might have been murdered elsewhere before her body was set on fire near Maa Gruha, potentially to erase crucial evidence. The tribal girl was allegedly killed on December 21.