BHUBANESWAR: Two groups of people from the village Dadhimachhagadia,allegedly clashed, hurled bombs and set afire at least 60 houses on Monday. The clashes were reportedly a result of previous enmity between the two groups. While three policemen were injured in the bomb explosion, no injury or casualty was reported in the fire incident.
Police said the violence was triggered by the alleged murder of one Sujit Biswal, the owner of a local stone crusher unit, on Saturday. Even though two persons were earlier arrested for Biswal’s murder, his supporters went on a rampage.
“Prima facie, we came to know that some supporters of Biswal picked up a quarrel with people of Adibasi Sahi, a cluster under Dadhimachhagadia. Two of the prime accused arrested for Biswal’s murder are from Adibasi Sahi. We strongly suspect that Biswal’s supporters set the houses on fire at Adibasi Sahi,” ADG (law and order) Satyajit Mohanty told .
To placate Biswal’s aggrieved supporters, police arrested seven others in connection with his murder. But, the arrests hardly helped the situation. The villagers who supported Biswal attacked houses in Adibasi Sahi and torched them. The violence broke out in the presence of some cops in the village. Police had set up a temporary camp in the village after mild tension erupted on Sunday following Biswal’s death. Police said three constables who were present in the temporary camp were hospitalized after the warring sides hurled a few bombs at them. After being rendered homeless, some victims of the clash took shelter in the houses of other villagers while many stayed out in the open. Police are yet to assess the cost of damage caused by the fire. “We will arrest those who torched the houses. A peace committee will be formed to restore normalcy in the village. Four platoons of police forces have been deployed to prevent escalation of tension,” SP (Khurda) Dilip Das said.