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Dilip Kumar

Balasore: A woman Tehsildar and her staff found themselves in the crosshairs after a group of people heckled and attacked them during a raid on a community feast at an 11th day ritual being observed at Hinjili village in Odangi panchayat under Sadar police limits in the district on Thursday.

According to reports, a family at Hinjili village had arranged a feast for hundreds of people on 11th day rituals despite restrictions imposed against large gatherings at death and wedding related rituals in the wake of an upsurge in COVID cases.

Acting on a tip-off, Sadar Tehsildar Anamika Singh along with other staff rushed to the spot and raided the function directing the officials to seize the food items prepared for 500 people.

Following the crackdown, members and relatives of the host gheraoed the officer and staff and heckled them. They also allegedly exchanged heated arguments and attacked them with sticks. The clash continued for quite some time.

On being informed, Collector, Sub-collector Iswar Asis Patil, local police IIC Khyama Sagar Panda reached the spot. The irate people immediately fled the spot on the arrival of top officials and police.

The Tehsildar later lodged a complaint based on which police detained the accused but released them a day after.

On the other hand, the Tehsildar expressed displeasure over police inaction against law breakers and staged a dharna today.

However, she withdrew her strike following Balasore SP Sudhansu Sekhar Mishra’s assurance of strict action against the accused.

Denying soft peddling allegations by Singh, Mishra said, “Nobody was released by the police. It is a communication gap, which the Tehsildar took it otherwise. The fact is that one among the detainees developed some Covid symptoms. Arrangements have been made for his RT-PCR test. Another is still in the police custody.”

There is some special procedure to arrest women accused, which is being followed. Anyone who has been named in the complaint will not be spared, Mishra added.

A case has already been registered based on the complaint by the tehsildar, he said.

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