Sipijodi deaths: Congress gheraoes Rayagada Collectorate

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Rayagada: The political blame game over the death of two persons in tribal-dominated Rayagada district allegedly after consuming mango kernel gruel has gained momentum. Protesting the incident, over a hundred Congress activists gheraoed the office of Rayagada district Collector Guha Poonam Tapas Kumar office today.

The activists came in a procession from the Circuit House to the Collectorate, where they staged the protest demanding resignation of Chief Minister. Earlier in the day, a team of the opposition party led by senior Congress leader Tara Prasad Bahinipati met district Collector and discussed about the incident. On Sunday, a team of party leaders headed by Bahinipati and Kotpad MLA Chandrasekhar Majhi visited the villages of the victims in Kashipur area to probe the incident. The team also met the family members of the two deceased at Sipijodi and Kashanadora villages.

A seven-member team of the BJP led by Rayagada district president Shiba Shankar Ulaka also visited Kashipur on Sunday to take stock of the situation.

Notably, two persons died and six fell severely ill allegedly after consuming mango kernel gruel in Sipijodi village under Kashipur block in the district on Saturday. The district administration, however, has denied the allegation. After visiting the village on Sunday, district Sub Collector Muralidhar Swain said, “The two deaths were due to some other reasons and not consumption of mango kernel gruel. While 13-year-old Ranjan Kumar Majhi died due to fever, elderly Shiva Majhi might have been a victim of heart stroke or any other ailment.”

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