Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Boudh, January 19:
A day after two rival groups clashed over worship of a deity at a shrine in Malikud village under Kantamal police limits in Odisha’s Boudh district, at least 34 persons including five juveniles and two women were arrested on Sunday on charge of attacking the police in which seven persons were injured, the police said today.
Following the incident, police teams from Kantamal and Manamunda police stations rushed to Malikud village under Kantamal police stationon Saturday as clash ensued between two rival groups over organising puja of the village deity.
The dispute turned violent on Saturday when one Kshyamanidhi Kanhar of Malikud village first performed the ritual of Goddess Kunden Budhi Devi and was on his way to Andhari Pitha, another shrine to perform ritual, despite being warned by the rival group members to refrain from it.
As Kshyamanidhi went ahead with his ritual, a clash ensued between the two groups. The villagers pelted stones and attacked policemen with sticks as members of both the groups suspected that police were trying to help the other faction when they were on their way to resolve the dispute, Boudh SDPO, Kandarpa Behera said.
Among five policemen — inspectors-in-charge of Kantamal and Manamunda, Bijaya Oram and Bhabananda Prodhan respectively, an assistance sub-inspector, a constable and a home guard — were injured and later hospitalised.
Senior police officers with reinforcement went to the spot and rounded up 34 persons. Cases have been registered against 60 villagers, Behera said.
Meanwhile, 29 persons have been forwarded to jail, five juveniles including a girl have been sent to the juvenile board-cum-CJM at Boudh.
Though the situation was under control, armed police personnel have been deployed in the village. However, many people fled to nearby forests apprehending police raid in the village.