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Odisha's Kotia villagers allege police torture of youths, SP denies charge

The agitators said Bimal Khilo and Besu Khilo of Mathlamba village were picked up by police from Pottangi and Sunabeda respectively on suspicion of having links with the Maoists.

Published: 19th February 2020 08:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th February 2020 08:02 AM   |  A+A-

Custodial torture, jail, police

For representational purposes

By Express News Service

KORAPUT: Hundreds of villagers of Matamba and nearby villages of disputed Kotia panchayat under Pottangi block on Tuesday staged demonstration in front of Koraput Collector’s office alleging police atrocity on two local youths for suspected Maoist link.

The agitators said Bimal Khilo and Besu Khilo of Mathlamba village were picked up by police from Pottangi and Sunabeda respectively on February 11 midnight on suspicion of having links with the Maoists. The duo was kept in Semiliguda police station.

The two youths were harassed and tortured in police custody. “On Monday, they were let off by police who threatened them of further action. The youths are farmers and have no link with any Maoist outfits,” the villagers said.

On the day, the agitating villagers also took out a rally on the main road of Koraput. Demanding action against the police personnel involved in the incident, the villagers submitted a memorandum to the district Collector seeking an end to the harassment of innocent residents of Kotia panchayat by the police.

Koraput Collector Madhusudan Mishra assured the villagers to conduct an inquiry into the matter. 
On the other hand, Koraput SP Mukesh Bhamoo refuted the allegation of police torture and said the two youths were only interrogated and later, let off. The youths even cooperated with the police, he said.

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