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Ananya Padhihary

The Forest department staff of Nilagiri foiled an attempt by a group of armed dacoits to loot a passenger bus by laying tree logs on forest road between Nilgiri and Udala in Balasore district late on Wednesday night.

As per the reports, the bus named 'Bijaya' was heading to Bhubaneswar on Wednesday night when it was stopped near Tinikosia forest by a group of people who had blocked the road with logs of wood and tree branches. 

When the bus came to a halt, the group pretended to help the driver to divert the bus through some other route by saying that the road was blocked and it would be impossible to commute. They also demanded money from the driver for the aid. 

Their plan to board the bus and loot was ready to go off without a hitch when a squad of forest night patrollers arrived on the scene. Upon seeing the officers, the miscreants pulled out weapons from their possession, however, the forest staff immediately called for additional help.

Meanwhile, at least 5 more buses carrying tourists and passengers had also arrived on the scene. Anticipating danger from the large gathering, the group fled from the spot by taking advantage of the dark and dense woodland. 

Officers from the forest department and other passengers cleared the road to create a safe pass for the vehicles to ply, reports said.

An investigation to find the unidentified miscreants has been launched by the police.

For the present, the incident has triggred panic in the area with local residents fearful of being victims of such dacoity. They have alleged that patrolling anomalies are to blame for similar events occurring in the area.

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