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Odisha town erupts over death of youth in security camp

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Komna (Nuapada), Aug 19:

Tension prevails in the block headquarters town of Komna in Odisha’s Nuapada district as over 500 villagers have gheraoed the Komna police station protesting the death of a youth allegedly due to torture at a camp of security personnel engaged in anti-Maoist operations.

police torture

While shops and establishments, schools and colleges have downed their shutters in this block headquarters town, roads have been blocked by protesters at several places by setting fire to old automobile tyres disrupting traffic movement, Five platoons of policemen have been deployed at the spot to maintain law and order. Senior police officials are present at the spot while the Nuapada SP is on his way to Komna, police sources said.

Braving a storm and rain, over 500 villagers are sitting on a dharna in front of the Komna police station. Some local political leaders too have joined the protestors. Protestors have blocked the NH 353 connecting Raipur with Gopalpur which touches Komna with vehicles remaining stranded on both sides of the road.

Allegedly, personnel of the Special Operations Group (SOG) engaged in anti-Maoist operations had picked up three local youth and had subjected them to torture at their camp here. While one of them succumbed to the torture, another has been shifted to VIMSAR, Burla for treatment as his condition deteriorated and the third being a minor has been kept at the Komna police station. The deceased has been identified as Chittaranjan Sahu.

While SOG personnel admit that they had detained him and claim that he managed to slip away from the camp, villagers allege that the security men have beaten him to death and have thrown away his body.

Villagers are demanding suspension of the SOG jawans involved in the youth’s death and cases to be booked against them for murder of the youth. Family members of the deceased youth have demanded compensation for the death of their kin and criminal action against the jawans who have allegedly killed him.