SAMBALPUR: It was hooliganism at display at Ainthapali police station on Friday as a mob ran amok setting afire and breaking down anything they could lay their hands on.As tension continues to grip Bhalupali with residents awaiting the dead body after postmortem, the two km distance from police station from Ainthapali to Bhalkupali, has turned into a fortress. While the anger of the mob left many cops, including SDPO Abakash Routray, seriously injured, it was lack police’s inability to comprehend the situation and complacency which is to be blamed for the situation going out of hand.
The incident flared up in absence of public relation by the In-charge of Ainthapali police station and pent up anger among the mob which was looking out for an opportunity. Poor intelligence and preparedness also left the police helpless at the end.Though victim, Abinash Munda - accused of escaping with valuables from a marriage - died late last night, police only expected road blockade and demonstration. All they mobilised was just two platoons of force and were caught unaware when the mob suddenly attacked the police station.
Only after additional force was mobilised that the situation was brought under control.
Despite the setbacks, police maintained restraint which saw the mob disperse, albeit the damage done by then. When the mob was on the rampage and attacked police personnel including SP Sanjeev Arora, any strong action would have had disastrous outcome. Despite facing brickbats, police restraint saved the day.The mob not only set ablaze seized vehicles but also went away with seized liquor and other valuables.
Locals alleged that had the In-charge developed rapport, intelligence and relationship with right kind of people, the situation could have been averted. They were correct in their observation as police on Friday sought help of touts masquerading as troubleshooters which delayed restoration of normalcy. The situation improved after old hands, who had worked in Ainthapali police station, were summoned. They roped in people who paved way for formation of Peace Committee and opened dialogue with the agitators.