Nilagiri: A team of forest officials were today attacked by a group of armed poachers for trying to stop the latter from hunting at the Kuldiha sanctuary.
Following a tip-off on movement of poachers in the sanctuary, five personnel reached the spot.
However, the miscreants, almost 80 in numbers, hiding in the woods, suddenly appeared and overpowered them, informed sources. The officials were thrashed black and blue, leaving most of them critically injured.
One of the five injured officials was rushed to the Balasore District Headquarters Hospital after his condition worsened.
"They appeared suddenly and launched the attack. Five officials have been injured in the incident. While one of them has his wrist broken, another one has sustained head injuries," informed Balasore Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Biswaraj Panda.
To prevent recurrence of such incidents, at least one squad of the armed police force should be deployed along with the Forest staff, he stated.
"I have spoken to Balasore SP and asked for a team of armed police," Panda added.