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Sharmili Mallick

Bhubaneswar: A youth was brutally beaten to death reportedly over bursting fire crackers and feasting on the occasion of Diwali last night in Housing Board Colony area under Airfield Police limits in Bhubaneswar. The deceased has been identified as Amaresh Nayak.

As per reports, a group of youths of the area including Amaresh were feasting and bursting crackers in a nearby field when around 20 youths with arms reached the spot and opposed the celebrations. The protest triggered an altercation between the two groups which later escalated into a clash as the armed youths attacked the other group with sharp weapons.

During the attack, Amaresh who sustained critical injuries was immediately rushed to Capital Hospital, but doctors declared him brought dead. Subsequently, Airfield Police officials rushed to the spot after getting information and launched a manhunt to nab the accused after. A case against more than 20 persons has been registered by the police.

“We were partying as well as bursting crackers when some youths came and asked us to stop the celebrations. Raghua, a youth among them brandished a gun at us while two others, Kuna and Babul attacked us with sharp weapons. I somehow managed to escape the spot and informed the matter to Amaresh’s family,” said a complainant Debi Prasad Sethi.

Later, while cops seized live bombs near the crime spot and detonated them, a forensic team collected samples for further investigation. A former corporator Mantu Nanda was detained by police in connection with the case as his name was mentioned in the complaint report, however, following protests by Mantu's supporters he was released later.

"Whenever I have been called by the IIC of police station, I have appeared before him. I am not even remotely connected with this case and it is wrong to detain me," said the former corporator.

Meanwhile, some local residents have alleged that Amaresh was involved in criminal cases.

"Amaresh used to create ruckus everywhere and consume drugs," said a local resident.

Speaking on the incident, Bhubaneswar DCP Anup Sahoo said, "The youth was organising feast with some others when a scuffle broke out. Later, some youths of the rival group attacked him. He was shifted to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. A case has been registered in this regard. We are identifying the persons involved in the murder and arrests will be made at the earliest."

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