Puri, Sep 27 :
Tension and terror continue to haunt Sahanikera village in Rahadamala panchayat of Brahmagiri block under Puri Sadar police limits where at least 40 persons including a four-month-old infant were injured Thursday in a bloody clash between two groups.
Nineteen of them including the four-month-old child have been admitted to the district head quarters hospital at Puri in a critical condition and are undergoing treatment.
Altogether eleven men from both sides have been arrested and policemen have been deployed in large numbers to keep a close watch over the situation, official sources said.
Violence broke out in the village when two rival groups of the Harijan basti clashed over a trivial incident of splashing of bath water. Both the groups indulged in a pitched battle by hurling bombs, pelting stones and attacking each other with swords and spears, sources said.
All of those injured in the clash bore injury marks on their bodies caused by swords and machetes. One Laxman Bhoi who was stabbed in the clash was rescued by fire brigade personnel with a trident stuck to his back.
The four-month-old infant was injured when a bomb fell in the courtyard of the thatched house where her mother was feeding her. Blast shards hit the baby and her mother. Six thatched houses were reduced to ashes in the bomb attack.
“Both the groups were at loggerheads over ownership of a village land. They had earlier fought a pitched battle and some of them were arrested. After being released on bail, they wanted to settle old scores,” said police sources.
Some villagers said the clash was fallout of political rivalry. “Two men, who had contested the panchayat polls and had lost in the elections, indulged in violence. This could be a reason behind the clash,” a villager said.