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Odisha: Two Group Clash Over Cremation Ground; Forces Deployed

Khurdha: Tension erupted at Tansipatana village under the Tangi police station in the district on Tuesday after two groups of people clashed over a land dispute related to a cremation ground.

The clashes broke out when some people were performing a cremation in the vicinity of some residential settlements to which another group opposed. The group which was against the burning of bodies on the ground claimed that the land was not earlier used for cremation purposes. But, some people forcefully cremated a body, they alleged.

“Some villagers of Tunsapatna tried to cremate a body in the land in our area, which we don’t want to use for cremation purpose. So, we had a sleepless night on Monday trying to stop them from doing so. The sarpanch assured us to find a solution. Again in the morning, they forcefully cremated the body on the same place “, a member of the protesting group said.

The opposite side argued that the land which had been used for cremations for years has been encroached upon by some people.

“The administration had given us 200 decimal land for the purpose of cremations. The then Tehsildar of Tangi, an executive magistrate had allowed us in writing to use the land as cremation ground,” a resident of Tansipatna said.

Police, meanwhile, said the cremation on the said land was illegal and warned of action. “The land was not earlier used as a crematorium. But, they forcefully performed the last rites of a person. So, action will be initiated against them. We will discuss the issue with the tehsildar and action will be taken accordingly”, said Madhabananda Bastia, Officer-in-charge at the Bhusandpur police outpost.

Deputy Collector Anil Patnaik said that the friction between the two groups was over a land dispute. “We will soon invite both the groups for a meeting with the tehsildar and police official to find out a permanent solution to the issue,” he added.

In view of the present strife, one platoon of police personnel has been deployed in the village as a precautionary measure.

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