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Pradeep Pattanayak

Tension gripped the police beat house area under Jenapur police limits in Jajpur district after hundreds of drivers gheraoed the beat house and staged a road blockade on the nearby National Highway Sunday. They protested against the Dharmasala tehsildar beating up some of their fellow drivers.

According to a source, acting on a tip-off that black stones were illegally transported in trucks, Swagat Das, Dharmasala tehsildar, stopped some trucks near Chadheidhara square and asked the drivers to produce documents. The drivers alleged that even though they produced necessary documents, the tehsildar misbehaved with them and thrashed them.

“We were moving towards our destination. The tehsildar stopped us. He asked me to show the necessary documents. I handed all the documents asked for over to him. He then misbehaved with another driver. When I objected it, he beat up me, holding me by my neck,” said Alekh Karan, a driver.

As the news spread, hundreds of drivers thronged and staged a protest in front of the police beat house. The agitation later shifted to the NH as the agitating drivers staged a road blockade, disrupting the traffic.

On getting information, police officers from the Jenapur police station reached the spot and tried to pacify the angry drivers. The drivers said they would call off the agitation only after the tehsildar came to them and apologise for his misconduct.

However, they later called off their agitation.

When contacted, tehsildar Das termed the drivers’ allegation as baseless. “The drivers were carrying black stones illegally. When I asked them to produce documents, they showed me forged documents. It was when I asked them to come to the outpost that they got infuriated. I didn’t misbehave with any of the drivers,” he added.

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