DHENKANAL: Violence erupted on Sunday in Tarabha village of Dhenkanal district where a BJP supporter was allegedly shot dead by a group of BJD workers over a panchayat election-related dispute on Saturday. Even as tension prevailed in the village amid heavy deployment of police force, the BJP has called dawn-to-dusk Dhenkanal bandh on Monday.
A group of BJD supporters led by one Byomkesh Biswal opened fire at Salman Rout in the presence of Sadar block vice-chairman on Saturday evening. Salman was rushed to district headquarters hospital where he was declared brought dead.
Following the incident, hundreds of people along with BJP activists staged a demonstration with the body on Dhenkanal-Angul road demanding arrest of the accused. Sources said Byomkesh is a police personnel.
The road blockade was lifted after District Collector Rupa Roshan Sahu and SP Basant Kumar Panigrahi promised action against the accused. The body was sent to SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack for post-mortem.
Before the body came to Salman’s house in the evening, the agitated villagers ransacked the house of Byomkesh before setting it on fire. However, police managed to rescue family members of the accused from the villagers.
Four platoons of police were deployed in the village to prevent futher escalation of violence. Though Section 144 was clamped in the village, hundreds of villagers took the body of Salman in a procession to cremation ground amid chanting of slogans like “Salman amar rahe”.
Former Rajya Sabha member Rudra Narayan Pany, State BJP leaders Sajjan Sharma and Samir Mohanty visited the village and consoled family members of the deceased.
Additional District Magistrate Jyotiranjan Pradhan, SP, Sub-Collector Abanikant Patnaik, Additional Tehsildar Saroj Panda and other officials were camping at the village to pacify the agitated people.
District Collector Sahoo and SP Panigrahi are monitoring the situation. Panigrahi said Byomkesh has been arrested while two others are detained for questioning. Further investigation is on, he said adding that more arrests are likely to be made in the case.
Meanwhile, the BJP has called dawn-to-dusk Dhenkanal bandh on Monday. BJP district president Bibhuti Bhusan Pradhan, former MLA Krushna Chandra Patra and Pany told media persons that BJD supporters on the instigation of Sadar block vice-chairman had murdered Salman over election issue. The BJP leaders have demanded Rs 10 lakh as compensation to the victim’s family and arrest of all the accused.