Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Malkangiri, Feb 5:
Three days after the people of Tangapalli village under Odupa Panchayat of Sadar block in Odisha’s Malkangiri district held 16 persons posing as Maoists captive, police today arrested 18 persons for allegedly launching an assault on villagers.
A mob of around 40 had attacked the village posing as Maoists late on Monday night. While the villagers caught hold of 16 of them, others had managed to escape.
Police today arrested the 16 of the attackers held captive by the villagers while two others who had escaped were apprehended from Mathili, police said.
The detenus were brought to the police station for interrogation to ascertain their identities and links with Maoists. However, no links with the rebels could be established and they were arrested on charges of attacking the villagers, intimidating and looting them, police said.
It may be recalled that Tangapalli villagers had detained these self proclaimed Maoists, including two women, in a school building. The villagers had alleged that these men and women, posing as members of the outlawed group, knocked on the doors of nayab sarpanch Bhagaban Padiami late on Monday night and asked for chicken, goats and cows. When the villagers refused to give in to their demands, they attacked the villagers leaving many injured.
As a scuffle ensued, some managed to flee. But, 16 of them were overpowered by the villagers and kept in detention till the police came in to the picture.
The villagers later seized several weapons like axes, pick axes and wood chopping tools from their possession.
However, the detenus refuted the charges of having links with the ultras.