We Need Such A Law

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

In March, the Additional Sessions Judge holding Fast Track Court No. 2, at Phulbani had acquitted 142 persons arrested by the Brahmunigaon police as their offense allegedly committed in 2007 could not be proved.

So also the Additional Sessions Judge holding Fast Track Court No.1 had acquitted 14 persons arrested in a 2008 case by G Udayagiri Police, as the prosecution could not establish the charges.

In yet another case, the First Track Court No.2 has on April 21 acquitted 7 persons arrested by Tikabali police against alleged offenses committed in 2008, as there were no evidence to prove them guilty.

Is the acquittal enough?

It is time to cogitate this question.

People of Kandhamal district are too simple and ignorant to estimate what damage they have been forced to suffer being accused under-trial.

But when they are adjudged not guilty, because the prosecution had no evidence against them, they deserve to be automatically compensated in cash for the damage they have financially, physically, mentally and socially suffered.

Steps in this regard in appropriate forums are essential.

When the police fails to prove the charges it levels against any citizen, the police officer responsible for loss of his freedom and imposition of under-trial stigma on him, must be punished for misuse of power in arresting the person, for having falsely implicated the person against whom there is no evidence or for suppression of evidence to help the accused escape punishment.

Orissa Assembly Standing Committee on Home Department, in its report to the House in the Budget Session, has come down heavily upon deliberate dereliction of duty marked in the police organization. As non-registration of FIR is an offense which the police is asked not to resort to, institution of false cases against any citizen by the police also must be viewed as an offense.

The acquitted accused must be compensated with appropriate amount of cash to be collected from police officer responsible for his suffering.

We need such a law.

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Rajasmita Won the Top Title: the State Should Now Wake-up

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Orissa got a great moment to forget the continuous agony over the hostage issue, when her child Rajasmita Kar bagged the top title in Zee TV’s reality show -Dance India Dance.

She achieved distinction over Pradeep Gurung of Assam, Raghav Juyal of Uttarakhand, Sanam Johar of Delhi and Mohena Singh of Madhya Pradesh, who were also superb in their respective performances. Her mentor Geeta Kapur, whom, on winning the coveted honor, she offered her gratitude on the stage for all her guidances, attributed the success to Rajasmita’s talent, determination and matching hard work.

The reality show was not a show strictly of classical dances. So, the challenge was many faceted. Fetching the best dancer title was not at all easy for any top dancer. Rajasmita’s distinction, therefore, is of highest order.

As we congratulate her, we also remember the Prince Dance Group of Ganjam district that had bagged the best position in “India’s Got Talent” competition on ‘Colors’ TV channel in 2009.

The State government had announced to present the group a gift of four acres of land to build a dance academy for the rural talents and a crore of Rupees. The State’s department of culture that, under rules of business, handles the affairs of dance and music has no follow-up information.

A couple of decades ago there were being held folk dance competitions in every part of Orissa. When Odissi has remained its priority, folk dances are fading away. Be the members of the Prince Dance Group or be it Rajasmita, Oriya dancing talents are not being supported by the State in their practice. Orissa is Utkal, the land of excellence in music, dance and sculpture. If the land is mother to her people, they carry the gene to excel in arts they pursue. So it is necessary to provide the people with the infrastructure to make their artistic gene flourish unhindered. For this, rural institutes of dance and music and rural auditoriums are essential. The State government should wake up to this, so that many Rajasmitas will not go unnoticed.