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Sharmili Mallick

The demolition drive undertaken by the Jagatsinghpur district administration at Rahama Bazaar on Cuttack-Paradip Road on Monday witnessed stiff resistance from the locals.

Hundreds of local residents and traders including the sarpanches of Sailo and Talapada panchayats under Kujang block of the district opposed pulling down the under-construction durga mandap in the bazaar. The district administration had earlier identified the mandap as illegal construction and ordered its demolition. 

However, as JCB machines and police personnel reached the spot to raze the alleged illegal encroachment, hundreds of villagers and traders sat on dharna demanding the revocation of the orders of the district administration.

Later, Kujang Tehsildar and Sub-Collector of Jagatsingjpur rushed to the spot after getting information and tried to pacify the villagers and traders. Four platoons of police forces have also been deployed at the spot to maintain law and order situation in the region.
Paradip MLA Sambit Routray also rushed to the market and discussed the matter with the agitators.

“All the traders and residents of Rahama and nearby areas opposed the decision of the district administration to demolish the Durga Mandap. The structure is connected with the religious sentiments of the people in the area and I appeal the administration not to raze the structure,” requested Sisir Kumar Dash, a local trader.

“This is a sensitive issue. The durga mandap was being constructed without the permission of the district administration. Though the structure was illegally erected, it is being built inside the market and will not create any problem in movement. Therefore, the Rahama Bazaar Committee through the Tehsildar requested the district administration to give them time to come to a decision. The district administration has granted seven days time to the committee to come to negation in this regard,” informed Routray.

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