Defeated candidate sets houses of Dalits afire

CHENKANAL: Tension ran high in Kamadhenukote village under Dhirpatna gram panchayat, 27 km from here, on Sunday, after houses of some villagers were gutted. After the counting was done on Satu

Published: 13th February 2012 03:13 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 05:55 PM   |  A+A-

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(Left) The gutted houses in Kamadhenukote village. The affected villagers I Express Photo

CHENKANAL: Tension ran high in Kamadhenukote village under Dhirpatna gram panchayat, 27 km from here, on Sunday, after houses of some villagers were gutted. After the counting was done on Saturday evening, it was revealed that sarpanch candidate Manorama Pradhan had reportedly defeated her rival Pratap Swain by 24 votes.

 Following this, Pratap with his supporters reached the village on Sunday morning and allegedly set afire 29 rooms of 19 families, mostly belonging to Scheduled Caste. Besides, they poisoned the village and felled some trees. Sources said while many villagers were beaten up by Pratap’s supporters, some villagers had to flee apprehending attack. Receiving information, a team of revenue, police and administration officials led by ADM Babaji Charan Das reached the spot.

While four platoons of police force have been deployed in the village, five complaints have been registered against Pratap who was absconding till the last reports came in. One person has been detained, said Manas Gadnayak, IIC of Dhenkanal Sadar police station. The ADM said that Rs 10,000 each had been released for victim families. Cooked food will be provided to all the victims for three days.

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