The police had realized the gravity of the situation they were in. The bearing
on their shoulder was way below the humanitarian ground. They took the two of
them to hospital not to be thanked for what they had done but to skip the
punishment they deserve if the laws of the country were to be honoured.
The police helped them out fearing that
they would face harsher consequence for the act that they committed.
The truth behind whole operation was
evident after the report came in the media. The public perception that
the police was hiding the truth about the encounter was confirmed. The
police was helping the innocent victims not because of any sympathy but
to mask their cruel act of firing at two innocents.
After a week of receiving treatment in the
respective hospitals, Hari and Hube were suddenly discharged and sent to
their own dwelling in the jungle that is still deprived of roads,
electricity, basic medical aid and facilities, shops for groceries, safe
drinking water, sanitation and hygienic condition of living. How could
the doctor, despite knowing the surrounding in which they live, allowed
them to step out of the hospital when they were critically injured by
The eye-witness of the entire incident,
Diba Majhi, recounts the happenings of that day, “Seeing this horrifying
brutality of police, I exclaimed ‘Ohh Mahapuru’ (Oh God), please don’t
fire at me. Please save me. I left the place and ran inside the jungle
and so I could escape their bullets. I wondered why the police fired.
Later I heard that they were mistaken as Naxals. The police took them
immediately to the hospital and admitted them for treatment. The fury
and anger inside me about the police had subsided as I thought that the
police realised their fault of firing at two innocent villagers. When I
came to know that the police started their treatment on 11th Jan 2013, I
prayed that the police should be kind-hearted and merciful to Hari and
Hube and should have done all that is required in the hospital. I had
the trust on police. But on 20th Jan 2013 when I saw the further brutal
behaviour of the police, I was infuriated. They turned away Hari and
Hube from the hospital and threw them in their home without any
financial or medical support. This made me realize that the police had
fired at the innocent people to show their gun-power to the villagers.
The police were bloody, ruthless and unsympathetic people who could
easily cross the limit of brutality”.
Hari and Hube are now living under a roof
sharing their houses with cats, dogs, cows and hens. They have not
recovered from their injuries yet. They run the risk of getting infected
with tetanus due to the unhygienic condition they are living in and may
perish any moment. The most sympathetic and inhuman matter is that
without any prescription or discharge papers, they have been sent to
stay in their house that is, virtually, the jungle.
Remati, Hube Majhi’s wife communicates,
“My husband after being fired by the police on January 8, 2013, was
admitted into Burla Medical College Hospital. He stayed there till 19th
January. Then on January 20, the police came and hurled Hube at our
house. He did not have any discharge document with him neither there
were any prescriptions. When I asked the police about it, they replied,
‘You just keep these medicines with you. Everything is with the Doctor’.
When my brother-in-law, LalMohan asked the police, What about the
further treatment of my brother Hube and when can we visit the hospital
and doctor for next time, the Police hastily shouted, do whatever we
have said and threatened us not to tell the Media regarding this matter.
Now we do not know what to do, whether to go to police or the Doctor for
further medical services. The police threw and left us in dark. Hube was
shot in his right arm and the doctor had told that his right arm was to
be operated upon, but no surgery has been performed. The Medicines that
was given to him are over now. There is no help since 20th January and
we are fighting with hunger. Every moment we are shivering in unbearable
pain. It is better to die but the god is not merciful at all for us.”
Who gave Hube and Hari the permit to be
discharged from the hospital? Is it the police or the Doctor? If the
police advised the Doctor to discharge them, had the Doctor forgotten
his duties towards the patients? Did the doctor forget that he solemnly
pledged his life to the service of humanity with utmost respect for
human life from the time of conception, that he was to practice his
profession with conscience and dignity and the health of the patient
must be his first consideration?
A doctor is considered next to God. He is
the Saviour. But when he allowed them to go away from the hospital
without recovering entirely, he grossly violated the ethics of medical
practice. If the Doctor, otherwise, let Hari and Hube leave the
hospital, then how could the police welcome this decision and let them
live in the jungle in such a critical condition resulted by police
bullets? The police behaved like a predator instead of behaving as the
protector. This proves that the Doctor and the Police did an
Hari Majhi told that, “My brother in law
used to attend me and spend for my treatment when I was in hospital.
Being a daily wage labourer, he could not help and attend anymore.
Police paid for 3 days (from 8th to 11th Jan) of my treatment only. Rest
of the expenditure was borne by my family members. All our savings were
exhausted on my treatment. When we asked the police about the expense
they remained silent. We did not even get the free medical treatment
from the hospital. Doctors said that there was no free medicine facility
for the patient of this type. So, I had to discontinue my treatment even
though my injuries were still not healed. The medicines given by the
police are over now. There is no money for my medical treatment. My life
has become a series of suffering and torture. The sorrows of my family
and the trauma that I am undergoing are beyond any words. I pray god for
a quick death.”
Prafulla Samantara, Convenor of National
Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), in a letter to the Chief Minister
of Odisha has stated that, “The Government should take full
responsibility for the treatment of Hari and Hube Majhi and pay them
compensation of 5 lakh rupees at least. He has also demanded before the
CM to set up an independent inquiry committee for the investigation of
police firing and arrest the culprit Jawans who fired at the innocent
These tribals are baffled at the attitude
of the police. The police from being a welfare and humanistic
organization, police has become an opportunistic and power-happy system.
Instead of protecting and promoting the tribals in distress, police
rather plays a demonic role .They have lost their responsibility of
safeguarding the people against all evils but, rather, the evils are
being committed by them only.
Neither the administration at
the district nor the State government has yet instituted an inquiry into
the matter and facilitated the treatment of two innocent citizens who
suffer badly because of the mistakes made by the Police.
Hari Majhi and Hube Majhi, the two Tribals
of Khaliapada village in Nuapada district were shot by police on January
8 and were admitted to the hospitals the same day. But before the
treatments were over, both the victims of police firing were discharged
on 19th of January when their condition was still critical and they were
in need of strict medical supervision. After the story of police firing
at Hari and Hube came on a private Odia news channel, on 18th Jan, the
police discontinued treatments of Hari nad Hube and dropped them at
their house. From 20th January, both of them are struggling with their
life without any medicines and proper treatment. The agony is
unbearable. None can imagine their plight without witnessing it.
(This is a follow-up of our report 'Undivided Kalahandi: Life becomes
tough between Poverty and Police violence',
published on January 20, 2013)
[Bibhuti Pati is an investigative Journalist from