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Sharmili Mallick

Gajapati: A group of miscreants allegedly attacked and ransacked the houses of as many as 14 ‘landless’ families residing in Garadama village under Adaba Police limits of the district on Tuesday over a dispute on government land.

As per reports, members of the families have been dwelling on a government land of the village for the last 30 to 40 years. Recently, some locals of the village neighbourhood asked them to free some land for arranging a weekly haat in the area.

However, when the families refused to vacate the land, some members of the neighbourhood allegedly attacked them yesterday.

Following the incident, the aggrieved families lodged a complaint at Adaba Police Station. After a preliminary probe, cops detained seven persons believed to be involved in the attack. The local Tehsildar also visited the village to review the situation.

"We were sleeping when they ransacked our house and when we tried to escape, they thrashed us. We have been residing here and practising farming on the land for last 3 to 4 decades but without consulting us, they took a unilateral decision to throw us out of our houses," alleged one of the complainants, Sahadev Basantaray.

"The incident is the fallout of a land dispute. We have detained some persons and interrogating them," informed inspector-in-charge of Adaba Police Station, Alok Ranjan Jagdal.

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