A tribal rights organisation Friday claimed that the kangaroo court, which allegedly gave the order of gangrape of a 20-year-old tribal girl at a village in Birbhum, was organised by the Gram Sabha under the leadership of an elected Gram Panchayat leader.
Kolkata Adivasi Youth Association said there was a conspiracy to malign Santhal community to which the victim belongs and criticised the state government for trying to describe Salishi Sabha, or kangaroo court, as an interference in tribal rights and customs.
“We know that a conspiracy has been hatched to malign our community. We don’t know if the rape has taken place, which is a subject of investigation. But we want to say that the morol (headman) of the tribals was not involved in the crime,” Baidyanath Hansda, the secretary of the organisation said.
Hansda asserted that a morol can never give such an order and that an elected gram panchayat member had organised the Salishi Sabha. He went on to claim that both the youth and the girl were let off. “We condemn the steps taken by the state government to interfere in tribal customs and rituals by trying to ban the Salishi Sabha. The Salishi Sabha is part of tribal culture and heritage,” he said.
Hansda, has also written to Governor M K Narayanan protesting against ‘malicious’ campaign against their rituals and customs.