BERHAMPUR: A truck carrying beef was set on fire by the activists of Bajrang Dal, VHP and BJP on Sunday on NH-16 here. Traffic on the highway came to a halt for several hours following the incident.
The truck was on its way to Visakhapatnam from Bhubaneswar on Saturday night when it overturned near a culvert between Golonthara and Randha, 12 km from Berhampur. On Sunday morning, the driver and helper of the heavy vehicle hired a crane to lift the truck. While the truck was being lifted, blood spilled on the road from the carriage which drew the attention of the locals.
Suspecting foul, they forcibly opened the carriage door to find beef stocked inside it. The news spread like wildfire and soon activists of Bajrang Dal, VHP and BJP rushed to the area. Fearing attack, driver and helper of the truck managed to flee. Not finding the two, the irate locals set the truck on fire and blocked the NH.
Receiving information, Sadar SDPO Ashok Mohanty, Golonthara IIC Alok Jena and fire fighters reached the spot and persuaded the irate activists and locals to call off the agitation.
The SDPO said Commissionerate Police in Bhubaneswar has been urged to identify the owner of the truck and action would be initiated as per law.