DHENKANAL: With an aim to restore normalcy in Tarabha village in the district ahead of the visit of Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan on Wednesday morning, the district administration conducted a peace committee meeting with the villagers and sought their cooperation.
Pradhan will meet the family members of Salman Rout, a BJP activist, who was shot dead on February 4 evening by one Byomkesh Biswal following an argument over pasting of party posters.
Section 144, which was clamped in the village from February 5, is still in force and two platoons of police force have been deployed in the sensitive village for the Minister’s visit.
Meanwhile, at the peace committee meeting held on Monday evening, District Collector Roopa Roshan Sahoo and SP Basant Kumar Panigrahi have sought the opinion of the villagers for functioning of the committee and appealed to all of them to promote harmony.
The villagers urged the district administration to nab the accused named in the FIR by Salman’s father. They also sought immediate arrest of Sadar block vice-chairman Hrudananda Biswal, who was allegedly present when Byomkesh opened fire at Salman on February 4 evening. A villager, Bikram Mallik, was assaulted and he sustained multiple head injuries for protesting against the attack. Mallik was also present at the meeting.
The villagers alleged that Hrudananda and his Sarpanch brother Chittaranjan Biswal exploited people financially under different projects and schemes. The administration assured them to look into the allegations.A day after the murder, Chittaranjan, along with another person, was detained by the police for interrogation but they have not been arrested yet.
Of the two detained on February 5, one is under medical treatment and another is being interrogated, the SP said. Police are yet to trace the revolver used in the crime.
On Tuesday, the district BJP, led by its president Bibhuti Bhusan Pradhan, staged a demonstration in front of Kamakshyanagar Sub-Collector office and submitted a memorandum demanding sacking of Steel and Mines Minister Prafulla Mallik, free and fair panchayat election and `10 lakh compensation to the bereaved family.Police brought main accused Byomkesh Biswal on three-day remand for interrogation.