PHULBANI: Traffic on National Highway (NH)-59 was disrupted for several hours on Friday after Kurtamgarh residents staged road blockade at Pandaramile Chowk in Tumudibandh of Kandhamal district protesting police inaction in a murder case.Alleging negligence of police in reaching the murder spot, villagers en masse blocked the Highway.
According to the villagers, a 28-year-old youth, identified as Pipuna Nayak of Kurtamgarh, was missing since December 25. After all efforts to trace Nayak proved futile, his parents lodged a complaint with the police. However, instead of acting on the complaint, the cops remained inactive, they alleged.
On Thursday, Nayak’s body was found near a hill at Budhapaderi village and police were informed immediately. However, the cops failed to reach the spot till 11 am on Friday. The delay by the cops to recover the body infuriated the villagers.
Alleging that Nayak was murdered and demanding immediate arrest of the culprits, irate villagers squatted on the NH and blocked the road using logs.The agitators also demanded a compensation of `10 lakh to the deceased’s family. The villagers were also joined by former MLA Karendra Majhi and BJP leader Netra Manseth in the protest. On being informed, Baliguda Sub-Collector sent an ambulance to bring Nayak’s body from the spot.
The Sub-Collector also assured the agitating villagers of arresting the culprits at the earliest and probing into the allegation of police inaction. Following the assurance, the blockade was lifted and traffic resumed.