Bhawanipatna (Odisha): Dana Majhi, who carried his wife’s body on his shoulders for 10 km, leading to a nationwide outcry, today took part in a ‘padayatra’, organised by Congress, from his native Melghar village in Kalahandi district seeking justice.
He took part in the padayatra with his two minor daughters, which covered 60 km from Melghar village since yesterday and culminated at the district headquarter town of Bhawanipatna this afternoon. Majhi also sat on a dharna in front of the Kalahandi District Collector’s office.
Former Union minister Bhakta Charan Das and ex-MP Pradeep Majhi were among hundreds of Congressmen who joined the padayatra. Dana Majhi, who was garlanded by Congress leaders during the padayatra, however denied any knowledge about the organisers of the programme.
“I do not know who is organising the programme. I have no relation with Congress or any other political party. I am a poor tribal man. Some people gave me a vehicle and invited me and my daughters to come to Bhawanipatna and I came here,” he said.
The ruling BJD accused Congress of using the “innocent” tribal man to do politics over the issue.
“This is not accepted. Congress should not use a man to do politics,” BJD spokesperson P K Deb said.
Rejecting the allegation, Das said, “We are not using Dana Majhi for political gain. I had even asked our partymen not to involve Majhi and his daughters in the padayatra. They came here after being invited by some of the villagers.”
He alleged that there was an attempt to cover up the incident.
“Dana Majhi was not only harassed by the government, he was also insulted. He was brought to Bhawanipatna in the name of inquiry depriving him the chance to perform the third day ritual of his wife which is important in tribal tradition.
“This is against all humanity and insult to not only Dana Majhi but to all tribal society,” Das claimed.