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At least 10 police personnel including the Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) of Sambalpur and the IIC of Dhanupali Police Station were injured in violence that erupted during the Hanuman Jayanti rally in Sambalpur on Wednesday evening.
Injured IIC, Anita Pradhan has been shifted to VIMSAR, Burla for treatment.
As per reports, a bike rally was held to celebrate Hanuman Jayanti in the western Odisha town when some miscreants allegedly pelted stones at the rally stoking a clash between two groups.
Sources said, the bike rally started from Dhanupali Police Station Chhak and was crossing Motijharan Chhak when the stones were allegedly hurled at them.
There were reports of vandalism and arson in the area as well. A shop was set on fire during the clash. Moreover, several vehicles parked on the roadside were vandalised and ransacked with stones and sticks. Keeping the tense situation in mind, huge police deployment was done in the area. Sources informed that Police had to resort to mild lathi-charge at District School Chhak to disperse the mob.
Later the administration clamped section 144 in entire area of Town Police Station, Dhanupali Police Station, Khetrajpur Police Station, Ainthapali Police Station, Bareipali Police Station & Sadar Police Station in Sambalpur.
"Section 144 has been enforced in all the six police station areas in Sambalpur. Sufficient police force is on the ground and the situation is under control," said Additional SP, Tapan Mohanty.
It is pertinent to mention here that the Hanuman Jayanti is observed every year on April 14. Prior to that a 'Jhanda Procession' is taken out by the locals of Sambalpur on bikes every year.
- Reported by:
- SANJAY JENA