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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Khurda, Sep 18:

Tension prevailed in Nirakarpur area in Odisha’s Khurda district after villagers attempted to cremate the body of a minor on the road owing to dispute over cremation ground.

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According to reports, enraged villagers of Nirakarpur today blocked the New Jagannath Sadak for four hours till 12 noon over cremation of a body following which the vehicular traffic came to a grinding halt.

Trouble began when one Halu Pradhan from Narendrapur Sahi prevented the members of the bereaved family to cremate the body of the 10-year-old boy. Sources said that the villagers had been using the Anabadi land (uncultivated wasteland) since over 100 years. However, records revealed Halu to be the land owner.

The legal owner had asked the villagers not to use his private property for cremation purposes. But, the residents didn’t pay any heed and continued to use the land for the purpose. The matter reached the court after the owner sought judicial intervention and filed a case.

When villagers reached the ground this morning to perform the last rites, the owner once again vehemently protested it leading to tension in the area. In protest against it, the villagers put the body on the road to draw the district administration’s attention to sort out the long-standing dispute for a cremation ground.

Local police and district administration officials reached the spot to persuade the agitators to lift the road blockade. The matter was, however, resolved after dialogue and assurance to look into the matter.

The officials asked the land owner to allow cremation for the time being as the matter is sub-judice, sources added.

The body was cremated at the same ground later in the day.

Come Wednesday, the district administration officials would hold a meeting with the villagers to take out a permanent solution to the issue.