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Forest personnel released

Baripada: Twelve persons, including forest department employees, detained by villagers since Tuesday to demand release of four arrested for poaching in a national park in Mayurbhanj district, were freed last night, official sources said.

The five forest department and seven local people working as assistants were freed after talks between village and panchayat leaders and officials, Regional Chief Conservator of Forest, Anup Nayak said.

Residents of Gopinathpur village in the core area of Simlipal National Park took away the 12 demanding release of four villagers arrested earlier for poaching.

The villagers were assured that legal assistance would be provided to the four arrested, the sources said.

The four arrested villagers were yesterday produced in the sub-divisional judicial magistrate`s court at Karanjia where one was acquitted and the others sent to judicial custody.

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