Kodala clash toll rises to five

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Berhampur: With recovery of a youth`s mutilated body from a bush near Kodala town on Tuesday, the death toll in the recent violence there has increased to five.

D Prakash (20) was missing since the clash erupted between villagers of Sachina and another group belonging to Marathi Sahi area on the outskirts of Kodala town on July 13.

"We suspected he was murdered by the villagers after being kidnapped," Ganjam SP Rajesh Pandit said.

As fresh tension prevailed after recovery of the body, 10 platoons of police were deployed in the sensitive areas of Kodala town, he said.

On July 13, around 70 houses in Marathi Sahi area were allegedly damaged when armed mob from J Sachina village set them ablaze following which a clash took place between both the groups in which two persons were lynched.

Two other persons were killed at Khajapalli, near Kodala, when police opened fire on the mob, who blocked the road in protest against the police crackdown in connection with the clash.

At least 49 persons were arrested in connection with the violence.

Long-standing dispute between the groups was stated to be the cause of the clash. The state government has ordered an administrative inquiry into the incident.

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