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Attack on Odisha cops: Hunt on for ‘Lady Don’ Saila

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Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Jun 9:

Having arrested two persons, Laxmisagar police is now on the lookout for Saila Ranasingh who they say ‘masterminded’ the attack on policemen at the Haldipadia slum in the Odisha capital yesterday.

Lady Don Saila Ranasingh, who lords over the Haldipadia slum
Lady Don Saila Ranasingh, who lords over the Haldipadia slum

Saila, who already has eight cases pending against her at the Laxmisagar police station, took advantage of a dispute between two families in Haldipadia basti to plan the attack on the policemen yesterday, sources in the Laxmisagar police said.

“It was not the slum dwellers at large, but two families at loggerheads with each other which provoked the attack on policemen,” said Inspector-in-charge (IIC) of Laxmisagar police station Rajat Ray, who himself was among the police officers injured in the attack.

“It was her presence and exhortation at the spot that provoked the slum dwellers to attack the policemen,” said one of the cops who was attacked yesterday.

According to the version of the incident given by Laxmisagar police, Saila’s son Tutu had misbehaved with a relative of Santosh Jena, the man who was thrashed yesterday, two months back. In retaliation, Santosh had attacked Tutu later.

“Angry at the attack on her son, Saila then hatched a plan to fix Santosh and his family member,” the IIC added.

Police sources said the allegation against Santosh of having an illicit relationship with a girl in the basti was false. No complaint had been registered by any girl or her family in the local police station about this. Only Santosh’s mother Sabita Jena had lodged a missing report recently, which had been duly registered, the sources said.

Saila is an influential lady in the Haldipadia basti and used to hold kangaroo courts in the locality. People used to come to her regarding police related complaints. “She would hear the cases and accordingly judge them. Sometimes, she would impose fines on people,” said a police officer. “She has eight cases pending against her at the Laxmisagar police station for her alleged role in attacking cops earlier,” he added.

Meanwhile, the two persons arrested in connection with the attack on cops yesterday, Mamata Nayak and Jitendra Karada, were sent to Jharpada jail today after their bail plea was rejected by a local court.

Most of the people in the basti against whom the police had registered cases yesterday have vanished from their houses after locking the doors. Police forces have been deployed in the basti today to look after the law and order situation. On Monday, police had registered cases against 25 persons for attacking cops.

 

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