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Odisha truck drivers block National Highway over Dharmasala tehsildar's 'misconduct'

Vehicular movement between Chandikhole and Kalinga Nagar was disrupted for over two hours due to the road blockade.

Published: 29th November 2021 08:44 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th November 2021 08:44 AM   |  A+A-

Strike

The mob then staged protest in front of the police beat house before blocking the National Highway. (Representational Image)

By Express News Service

JAJPUR:  Accusing Dharmasala tehsildar of misbehaviour, hundreds of truck drivers gheraoed the Chadheidhara police beat house and staged road blockade on the adjacent National Highway-200 in protest on Sunday.

Vehicular movement between Chandikhole and Kalinga Nagar was disrupted for over two hours due to the road blockade. The agitators alleged that Dharmasala tehsildar Swagat Das misbehaved with two truck drivers during inspection of vehicles carrying minor minerals. 

Sources said acting on a tip-off that black stones were being transported illegally in trucks, a team led by tehsildar Das stopped some trucks near Chadheidhara Chowk near the police outpost. Das asked the drivers of black stone-laden trucks to produce documents relating to transportation of the minor minerals. However, two drivers said the necessary documents were with their owners.

“The tehsildar stopped my vehicle when I was moving towards my destination. He asked me to show the necessary documents. I told him that the documents are with my owner. I even assured him to collect the documents from the owner’s house which was located just a few km from the spot. However, he misbehaved with me and thrashed me,” said one of the victim drivers.

As the news spread, tension flared up in Chadheidhara and nearby areas as hundreds of truck drivers surrounded the tehsildar and his team. Anticipating trouble from the crowd, the tehsildar took shelter in the nearby police outpost. 

The mob then staged protest in front of the police beat house before blocking the NH. On being informed, Jenapur police reached the spot along with a platoon of force and tried to pacify the irate drivers. The agitators first demanded that the tehsildar should apologise for his misconduct in full public view but later called off their protest after discussion with police officers. The tehsildar could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.
 



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