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Villagers of this Odisha district clash with police over Covid-19 norm violation

As Covid guidelines like wearing of mask and maintaining social distancing were thrown to the wind, police tried to stop the event.

Published: 17th October 2021 08:26 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th October 2021 08:26 AM   |  A+A-

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Meanwhile, two cases have been registered against the puja organising committee for violating Covid guidelines. (File photo | Shriram BN)

By Express News Service

BARGARH:  Police action to stop a cultural function in violation of Covid-19 guidelines led to a face-off with residents of Dava village in Jharbandh block of Bargarh district on Thursday.  The villagers were infuriated after police tried to prevent a cultural programme from being organised in the area. They pelted stones at the policemen and also damaged a vehicle.

A host of programmes are organised at Dava, located around 150 km from Bargarh town during Durga Puja. The events include a ‘Ravan Darbar’ held on the day of Navami. However, owing to the pandemic this year, the puja organising committee had held discussions with the police and locals administration and assured that no cultural programme would be held to prevent large gathering. 

But the locals went back on their promise and gathered in large number for ‘Ravan Darbar’. As Covid guidelines like wearing of mask and maintaining social distancing were thrown to the wind, police tried to stop the event. This enraged the villagers who entered into an argument with the cops. Even as the police managed to convince the organisers to stop the programme, the crowd turned hostile and pelted stones at the personnel. 

Jharbandh IIC Anil Pradhan said the mob argued that preventing celebrations at the village was not justified as the same are allowed in neighbouring Chhattisgarh. “The locals thought police would not get any information about the programme as the village is located on the border of Odisha and Chhattisgarh,” he said. 

Meanwhile, two cases have been registered against the puja organising committee for violating Covid guidelines and pelting of stones at the police vehicle. The police have initiated investigation into the matter and legal action would be taken against those who are responsible for the incident, Pradhan added. 
 



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