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regular-article-logo Saturday, 13 April 2024

Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik orders officials to withdraw over 48,000 cases on tribals

Sources said all the cases are related to the collection of forest produce and other issues relating to their livelihood. They pertain to forest and excise law violations

Subhashish Mohanty Bhubaneswar Published 22.02.24, 06:48 AM
Naveen Patnaik.

Naveen Patnaik. File picture

Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday directed officials to withdraw more than 48,000 cases slapped against the Scheduled Tribe (ST) people in a significant step to woo tribals ahead of the elections.

The withdrawal of cases involved trivial offences against people belonging to the ST community.

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Sources said all the cases are related to the collection of forest produce and other issues relating to their livelihood. They pertain to forest and excise law violations.

On the direction of the chief minister, the home department, excise and forest department reviewed the cases slapped against these people.

“After the review, it was decided to withdraw 48,018 cases relating to forest, excise and environment. Out of these 36,581 belong to excise, 9,846 cases come under home and 1,591 cases under the forest and environment department,” said a release. Following the withdrawal of cases, the pressure on the judiciary will also be reduced, it said.

The government’s decision was considered politically significant as it came ahead of the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls. The tribals constitute about 23 per cent of the state’s population.

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