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Sharmili Mallick

The residents of Samsingha village under Rairakhol Police Station in Sambalpur district allegedly detained the Sub-Collector and Tehsildar while the government officials had visited the village for a land acquisition process on Saturday evening.

As per reports, Rairakhol Sub-Collector Pabitra Behera and Tehsildar Bercious Dungdung along with a team of government officials had visited the village at around 5.30 pm yesterday to acquire some government lands and hand it over to a land bank.

Irate over the move, the villagers, who were opposing the land acquisition for a long time, held the officials' hostage. They were released at least after two hours following the intervention of local police who reached the village and pacified the angry villagers.

Sarat Kumar Pradhan, a protesting villager alleged, “The officials had come to the village at around 5.30 pm. We have been opposing land acquisition for a long time. Despite our opposition, the government officials came to the village to review the land. They should assure us that no land acquisition will take place in the village.”

On the other hand, Rairakhol Sub-Collector Behera refused to visit the village for any land acquisition purpose.

“We had come to review the unused government lands and not for any acquisition process. I got to know that they are opposing the land acquisition. The matter is being discussed with the villagers and we assured them that without their approval no land will be acquired,” informed Behera.

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