Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Rights groups cry foul

Rights groups cry foul

Staff Reporter

‘Doctors being made scapegoats’

BHUBANESWAR: Human rights activists and anti-displacement leaders on Saturday demanded that the State government should dismiss senior officials who were responsible for ordering the three doctors to chop off palms of tribals killed in police firing in Kalinganagar area.

Sympathising on doctors’ agitation to revoke dismissal proceedings against three doctors, three organisations, Lokshakti Abhijan, Samajwadi Jana Parishad and CPI (ML) New Democracy said that doctors were unnecessarily being made scapegoats.

“ The government led by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is the main culprit in whole incident.

Not a single government official barring doctors was suspended in the incident of police firing that led to death of 14 tribals,” said Prafulla Samantra of Lokshakti Abhijan.

Pointing out that doctors came to the scene only after death of tribals, Mr. Samantra said, “former collector, Superintendent of Police and senior government officials of Jajpur district who were responsible for firing have let off.

A judicial inquiry which was instituted to probe the case has also been weakened.”

Similarly, Lingaraj from Samajwadi Jana Parishad said doctors were under pressure from senior administrators to do the chopping of palms.

He ridiculed the approach of State government to deal with issues associated with the gory incident.

Many tribals had become handicapped in the firing but instead of extending them a free treatment, State government had ignored the matter, Mr. Lingaraj said.

The activists said this was an attempt of State government to divert attention of people from the main issue by picking up doctors.

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