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29 arrested for obstructing relief operations


OST Bureau

Tangi (Khurda), Oct 26:

Police today arrested 29 persons in flood-affected Khurda district on charges of blocking road, obstructing relief operations and clashing with the police.

Police said these persons indulged in pelting stones at them, had set a multi-utility vehicle on fire and had obstructed Orissa Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) personnel from carrying out relief and rescue operations.

Reports said around 400 cyclone and flood affected victims had blocked the national highway on Friday evening near Ugratara village in the district.

The victims who were demanding relief clashed with the police when it tried to forcibly remove them in order to clear the roadblock. The police had to resort to mild lathi charge to disperse them.

Those arrested had instigated the mob, police said.

Villagers, on the other hand, alleged that more than 50 persons mainly women sustained injuries during the police action. They alleged that they were evacuated by the administration before Cyclone Phailin struck but were not provided with enough relief material and now heavy rains has made their  lives miserable with no official help in sight.