BALANGIR: As many as 17 persons, belonging to the SC community of Ghusuramunda village under Saintala police limits, have taken shelter at the Bhagwat temple in Kantabanji town under Nuapada district apprehending attack by ST community members of their village.
A scuffle had taken place between members of both the communities in the village of Balangir district over a trivial issue on June 27. One Kouraba Jani, an ST boy, was bit by a dog belonging to an SC family. He subsequently attacked the owner of the dog and his family members. Following the incident, members of the SC community gathered at the spot protesting the incident. After a few hours, the ST people came in a rally and threatened SC families of attacking them.
In fear of the attack, the SC villagers fled from their houses on the same night and took shelter in the Bhagwat temple. Even as Titlagarh Sub-divisional Police Officer Dillip Purohit held discussion with the villagers and assured them of their safety, they were reluctant to return to their village.
Rama Mahanand, a villager, said as the ST people are more in number, there is every chance that the SC families may be attacked by them over the issue. He demanded adequate police protection for the SC people.
Titlagarh Sub-Collector Kailash Sahu said a peace committee has been formed with representatives from both the communities and it will hold discussion with the SC people and bring them back to the village soon.