Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Kendrapara, Mar 11:
The revelation by the authorities on the ‘permission’ for firing orders on anti-liquor campaigners on March 8 at Namtara village under Rajkanika block in Odisha’s Kendrapara district has put the police in a tight spot.
As per law, firing orders have to be obtained from an executive magistrate or an officer in-charge, if circumstances justify in case police fails to disperse the crowd or unlawful assembly.
However, the Rajnagar Tehsildar Sukadev Behera who was in-charge of magistrate on the day of firing at Namtara village told OST that he did not give permission for firing on the protesters.
The district collector Pramod Kumar Das also upheld that no permission was sought from him regarding firing orders.
The startling revelations from the concerned authorities are expected to spell trouble for the police hierarchy in the helm of affairs.
While Kendrapara Superintendent of Police Satish Kumar Gajbhiye has been maintaining that no one has been injured in the firing, various persons being treated at the SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack with bullet injuries nails the lies.
Besides, doctors are trying to remove a bullet from the body of a teenage shooting victim who has been admitted to the hospital along with other villagers sustaining injuries in the incident, a source said.
Police have been claiming since the incident that they were compelled to resort to a baton charge and blank firing to disperse the protesters.
On the other hand, uneasy calm still prevails in the village though no untoward incident has been reported after the police-villagers clash on Sunday afternoon.
The male members who had left their homes fearing arrest have returned to their homes. But, they sneak into safe hideouts at night fearing midnight police raids.
The police teams have been monitoring the situation from outside the village. After stiff resistance from village women on Monday, the men in uniform did not attempt to enter the trouble-torn hamlet yesterday to avoid backlash. However, they have been camping at Kandia outpost, Charapada panchayat office and Deulatara to keep a vigil.
It may be mentioned that police have registered cases against as many as 70 villagers under 147, 148, 435, 341, 342, 307, 323, 331, 333, 395 and 149 of IPC.
One Golak Jena of Namtara village has filed an FIR at Rajkanika police station against Kandia police outpost in-charge Dhaneswar Behera. Jena in his complaint alleged that Behera assaulted the women from Jena Sahi of Namtara village who were a part of an anti-liquor campaign following which this incident resulted.
The injured staff of the Rajkanika fire office has also filed a complaint with the Rajkanika police station.
Meanwhile, the villagers of the panchayat held meeting at Namtara Bajra Mahakali temple to discuss the issues including—treatment of the injured villagers, removal of the liquor shop, among others.
The vehicular movement on the Rajkanika-Singhapur road remained suspended for the second consecutive day.