BHUBANESWAR: A day after dozens of masked men, armed with sticks and sharp weapons, ransacked roadside shops at Unit-II market area, Commissionerate Police on Saturday arrested 18 persons, including 12 minors and detained three others.
Police Commissioner Sudhanshu Sarangi said about 30 persons were involved in the crime and 21 of them have been identified. Twelve minor boys and six others have been apprehended so far while eight to nine others are yet to be identified, he added. The six accused are Madhav Pradhan, Rabindra Nayak, Chandan Das, K Santosh Kumar, Priyaranjan Das and Biswanath Pradhan of an area under Badagada police limits.
"The arrested persons are not members of any gang. The incident was fallout of an argument between a brother-sister duo and owner of a watch outlet in Unit-II market on Thursday," Sarangi said. The matter was then amicably sorted out at the police station.
Earlier, one of the anti-socials, Gopi had an argument with the same shopkeeper. When Gopi, his friend Chintu Mohanty and other associates learnt that the shopkeeper had an argument with two other customers, they attacked other roadside shops in the area on Friday evening. Most of the youths involved in the incident are minors. It is disheartening to know that boys aged around 15 and 16 were part of the crime.
Action will be initiated against them and the masterminds behind the violence, Sarangi said. On Friday, police had intervened immediately and PCR vans had reached the spot within five minutes. Two persons were nabbed from the spot and information about the involvement of other accused was collected from them, he added. The goons, had damaged around 30 shops and beat up shopkeepers who confronted them on the spot.
One of the shopkeepers, Dhananjay Saha, then lodged a complaint at Capital police station in this regard. "On the basis of the complaint a case was registered under different Sections of IPC, Section 27 Arms Act and Section 7 of Criminal Law Amendment Act. The minor boys were produced before a juvenile court and the other accused were produced before a court on Saturday," a police officer Capital police station said.