By Manoj Kar
Kendrapara, March 11: Deeply upset at being abandoned by spouse, an HIV/AIDS infected man set his in-laws’ house on fire in Dera village under Rajnagar police station area of this coastal Odisha district.
The man, now detained by local police, confessed to the crime.
He planned to settle the score with in-laws because his wife had left him in dire straits at a time he was need for care and love, according to police sources.
“We are treating the case from humanitarian angle because the culprit is HIV/AIDS carrier. Despite the commission of a grave offence, we are yet to put him under arrest. Attempt is being made to unite the estranged couple”, said police officials.
As misconception and ill-conceived notion on the disease reigns supreme mostly in rural areas of the district, many are scared of getting branded as AIDS patients.
There are countless instances including the latest one of victims here being ostracised. The family members also bear the brunt with neighbours found keeping safe distance from the family.
It's pertinent to note here that there is massive annual exodus of skilled labour from this part of the state to country's urban and industrial centres. Poverty and lack of employment opportunity triggers the labour migration.
In the process, migrant labourers contract the virus in their workplaces and later transmit it to family members.