Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

A violent clash broke out between two groups at Harishankar area in Bolangir on Tuesday leaving at least five persons injured.

As per the preliminary reports, the clash broke out between a group of visitors from Kantabanjhi and another group comprising some local people and members of Harishankar temple committee over a trivial matter that occurred last afternoon.

Then injured have been admitted to a local hospital in a critical condition. Two of them were shifted to Patnagarh hospital as their condition deteriorated.

Both the groups have filed separate complaints against each other at Khaprakhol police station. Based on the complaint, police have started an investigation into the incident. Seven persons each from each group have been detained and their questioning is underway.

As per locals, a group of youth had come to Harishankar to celebrate the birthday of one of their friends. However, they allegedly created nuisance in the area by shouting abusive language in inebriated conditions. However, local people and some members of the temple committee opposed them. Subsequently, a clash broke out between both the groups and they attacked each other with sticks.

 The visitors have alleged that the local people threw away their belongings and launched an attack on them without any reason.

“They attacked us with sticks leaving many of us injured. We were helpless,” said Prabin Behera, an injured visitor.

On the other hand, the local people and temple committee members said that miscreants are creating disturbances at the tourism spot on a regular basis.

“If the miscreants create disturbances like this on a daily basis, the visitors will be scared to visit the holy spot. It’s a matter of concern for the local people and the temple administration. Stern action should be taken against the miscreants,” said Sushil Guru, Vice-President of Harishankar temple management committee.