Odisha Dalit woman assaulted, tonsured; 10 arrested

A Dalit woman was assaulted, tortured and tonsured by locals after holding her responsible for the death of a youth in Sambalpur district, police said today.

"Ten persons were arrested on the basis of an FIR lodged by the victim Subidha Buda, a Dalit woman of Jayaghanta village in Dhama police station," Inspector-in-Charge G Barla said.

18-year-old daughter of Buda had an affair with Sudam Mahananda of the same village. The duo had eloped from the village on August 11 but Sudam fell ill on the way and was declared brought dead at the government hospital at Jharsuguda, he said.

Holding the 45-year-old woman and her family responsible for Sudam's death, the villagers had staged a road blockade on August 12 by keeping the body on the road to demand inquiry into the incident and arrest of the culprits, sources said.

They had also asked the family to leave the village, the police said.

The family was staying at their elder daughter's place in nearby Baunsura after leaving the village.

However, the woman had come to the village house to take some household goods on Thursday when villagers dragged her out, assaulted and tortured before shaving her head.

However, no case was registered under the SC/ST Atrocities Act as both the complainant and accused belonged to the Scheduled Caste, police officer Burla said.

Cases were registered against 18 persons and effort is on to nab the others involved in the incident, police said.

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