Berhampur: Tension prevailed
in Badagada village of Orissa`s Ganjam district where
eight people were burnt to death by a mob on Friday night
as police rounded up 90 people.
In protest against the police action, several
villagers, including women, staged a dharna and blocked the
road between Sheragada and Badagada today, police said.
Residents of nearby villages in Kulagada panchyat of
Sheragada block under Hinjili, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s
constituency, reportedly participated in the dharana.
We have detained around 90 persons. Those found to
be involved in the gruesome incident will be forwarded to
court, SP (Ganjam) Nitinjit Singh said.
Over 200 police personnel were deployed in the village
under Badagada police limit, about 60 km from here.
DIG (Southern Range) RK Sharma said SP (Ganjam) was
supervising the matter and the real culprits behind the
ghastly incident would be booked very soon.
Initially, police suspected seven persons of a stone
crusher unit were burnt to death by the villagers. But doctors
later said the death toll had risen to eight.
Five bodies have been identified and handed over to
the relatives. The situation in the village was under
control, the SP said.
Police suspected the incident was the fallout
of a long standing dispute between the crusher unit owners and
the villagers, who strongly opposed the establishment of the
unit and also stone quarry at Sindhiguda, near their village.
Meanwhile, the Opposition parties blamed the
district administration for ignoring the plea of the villagers
for which they took law into their own hands. The party
leaders demanded judicial inquiry into the incident.
The situation could have been averted had the district
administration taken precautionary measures, former deputy
speaker and BJP leader Ram Chandra Panda, Congress Committee
(Ganjam district unit) president Bhagaban Gantayat and CPI-M
leader AK Patnaik said.