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Lathicharge on striking drivers in Nayagarh

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Reported by Subhranshu Panda

Nayagarh, Apr 15:

Two platoons of Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) resorted to mild lathicharge to disperse more than 500 drivers of vehicles engaged in polling duty in Odisha’s Nayagarh district, who had blocked the road in front of the Nayagarh Autonomous College here protesting against alleged murderous assault by policemen on five fellow drivers.

Nayagarh

The drivers were on a protest dharna and had blocked the road in front of the college for more than three hours by setting tyres ablaze on the road.

According to the protesters, five drivers engaged in polling duty sustained severe injuries after they were allegedly beaten up by policemen with stones and batons.

The five injured drivers who were also part of the dharna were forcibly shifted to the district headquarters hospital here.

One of the drivers whose hand has been fractured was shifted to SCB Medical College and Hospital at Cuttack as his condition worsened, said Hadibandhu Routray, CDMO, Nayagarh district headquarters hospital.  The other four drivers are being treated here, he added.

The ITBP had to be called in at around 6pm as the agitated drivers decided to boycott polling duty and were unyielding to scale down decision despite persuasion by the sub collector, SP and DSP. The agitating drivers were demanding arrest of the guilty policemen and financial assistance to the injured.

Nayagarh SP Bhagyadhar Behera has admitted that the drivers were indeed beaten up by some personnel of the Bargarh police engaged in poll security here.

Action will be taken against the guilty policemen after an inquiry, Behera said.

Meanwhile, the drivers have joined work and have moved to different booths with polling material and personnel after the matter was resolved amicably, the SP informed. The district will go to polls on April 17

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