Pradeep Pattanayak

Over 25 people have been detained for their alleged involvement in the violence that took place during a bike rally taken out to celebrate Hanuman Jayanti in Sambalpur town on Wednesday evening. 

Sources said the detainees are being interrogated by the Sambalpur district police. 

Notably, every year a bike rally and a ritual ‘Jhanda Sthapana’ are organised prior to Hanuman Jayanti, which falls on April 14 this year. 

On Wednesday, a bike rally was also taken out in the town. The rally started from Dhanupali police station square and as it was passing through Motijharan Square when some miscreants pelted stones at the rally, resulting in a violent clash between the two groups. 

Incidents of arson and vandalism were reported from the spot. The miscreants set a shop on fire and damaged a number of vehicles parked along the road. 

In the melee, at least 10 police personnel including the Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) of Sambalpur and the IIC of Dhanupali Police Station who were pressed into service to control the mob suffered injuries. 

A severely injured IIC Anita Pradhan was immediately rushed to VIMSAR, Burla. 

Later, more police force was engaged to bring the situation under control. The police had to resort to mild lathi charge to disperse the mob. 

Later, the administration clamped section 144 in areas coming under six police station limits. Such police stations are Town Police Station, Dhanupali Police Station, Khetrajpur Police Station, Ainthapali Police Station, Bareipali Police Station & Sadar Police Station in Sambalpur.

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