Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 24:
As many as 20 people died and over 80 were injured today because of road accidents, drowning and group clashes at various places of the state, on the day of Holi.
While eight people lost their lives because of drowning and one continues to be missing, accidents claimed 11 lives and left more than 60 injured. Similarly, group clashes claimed one life and injured 20 more people across the state, as per reports compiled at 9 PM this evening.
A minor died while taking bath in a pond near Sankareswar area of Puri. Another death was reported from Jajpur district, where a man drowned to death in Brahmani River near Sukal Malla Shah Ghat of Bari. The third death was reported from Cuttack’s Bhadimula ghat on Mahanadi.
Similarly, in Bhadrak, a student of Avantika ITI — identified as Jyotirmay Pradhan — drowned to death while taking a bath and the fifth case of drowning was reported from Sambalpur Sasan canal. A man continues to be missing there.
The other three cases of drowning were reported from Patkura’s Karandia river, Bhandaripokhari Kurigaon and Burla power channel.
Besides, more than 60 cases of road accidents related injuries and 11 deaths have been reported from various places of the state.
While six people were killed and two are serious after a Scorpio SUV overturned near Neulapur under Dharmasala of Jajpur, two lost their lives in a bike accident on Jajpur – Panikoili road. Another two died in a bike accident in Dhenkanal and one biker death was reported from Bhubaneswar.
Close to 40 cases of injury because of road accident have been reported from Bhubaneswar alone. At least 25 of them have been admitted to the Capital Hospital.
Further, group clashes following Holi celebrations took one more life and injured more than 20.
In Nayagarh’s Bhapur, a group clash left 18 injured – five of whom are said to be serious. As per latest reports, hundreds of villagers are agitating in front of the police station there.
Similarly, group clash claimed one live and left many injured at Rangila square of Rourkela. Security forces have been deployed at the scene and the situation is under control there.
While Odisha Government had alerted the Police and the Fire Services to take precautionary measures to avoid such incidents, lapses were evident across the state.
Especially in Bhubaneswar, presence of police on busy joints was either negligible or nonexistent. Patrolling vans were also extremely rare to spot.