Pradeep Pattanayak

Hours after unidentified miscreants attacked the staff of Pipili Toll Plaza in Puri and fired two bullets in the air early on Thursday, police detained three of them.

According to a source, six miscreants were travelling from Bhubaneswar to Puri in a car. At the toll plaza, they had a quarrel with the staff allegedly over toll tax. The situation turned ugly when the miscreants got down from the vehicle and started thrashing the plaza staff. Before speeding away from the place, they blank fired to intimidate the staff. 

In the attack, a toll worker suffered injuries. His identity is yet to be established. 

On being informed, police reached the spot, seized a bullet and launched a probe into the matter. A team comprising of Puri, Nimapada, Gop and Pipili police was formed to nabbed the culprits. The team along with the villagers apprehended three miscreants while they were trying to flee leaving their vehicle behind at Dagara Sahi near Arishandha in Nimapra. A manhunt has been launched for the rest two miscreants who are still at large. 

Every day hundreds of vehicles pass through the tool gate at Pipili as it is the main entrance to the holy city of Puri. While the incident has raised questions about the deteriorating law and order situation, the commuters are said to be in fear. It is alleged that the police are not patrolling the area as frequently as they should.

(Reported by Dwitikrushna Pattanayak from Pipili)