Bolangir (Odisha): Over thirty thatched
houses belonging to dalits were set afire allegedly by upper
caste people at Lathore in Bolangir district, police said on Monday.
The arson followed a clash between two dalit youths and
as many youths of an upper caste family over an incident of
theft of a shirt from a cloth store allegedly by a poor dalit
boy yesterday, Director General of Police Manomohan Praharaj
About 50 people set fire to the houses after driving out
women and children. They even blocked roads to prevent entry
of fire tenders to the area.
"They attacked the fire tenders and damaged machinery
and water pipes while preventing fire brigade personnel to
douse the fire. Even the police personnel were not allowed to
go inside when the houses were burning," Additional
Superintendent of Police, Srikant Mishra said.
Terming the incident as "tragic", Chief Minister
Naveen Patnaik said more than forty people were arrested and
the victims were provided relief at temporary camps.
"Appropriate action will be taken against the culprits
involved in setting fire to dalit houses," he said.
About 120 policemen were deployed at Lathore village.
Police were also deployed at the relief camps housing dalits,