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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Keonjhar, Nov 18:

Palpable tension prevails at the construction site of the controversial bridge over river Kusei at Belabahali in Odisha’s Keonjhar district as fresh violence erupted over the construction of approach road to the proposed bridge this evening.

belabahali-lathi-charge

Police have detained four persons in this connection, police sources said.

According to reports while work on the approach road to the proposed bridge was in progress today in the presence of district Collector N Thirumala Naik and SP Pandit Rajesh Uttamrao amid heavy police bandobust, suddenly at around 5 PM locals pelted stones at the policemen and the men at work resulting in a clash between the locals and the police.

Police resorted to lathi charge and fired teargas shells to chase away the protesting villagers.

A medical team with two ambulances has rushed to the spot to take care of those injured in the clash.

The entire area is in grip of darkness it being evening and power connection severed to Belabahali village.

Work on the approach road to the proposed bridge began from Anandpur side today in the morning. As many as 22 platoons of policemen were deployed at the construction site to maintain law and order.

Notably, the district administration made a fresh attempt on Wednesday, it being the third time, after two earlier failed attempts to go ahead with the construction of the controversial bridge over river Kusei.

It may be recalled here that there has been a longstanding dispute over the location of the bridge site. Villagers opposing the bridge at the particular site and police had earlier clashed over the issue on several occasions. Earlier attempts of the administration to go ahead with the construction of the proposed bridge had failed.