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Rashmi Ranjan

Berhampur: Tension ran high at Choudhury Tikarapada village under Digapahandi block in the district on Saturday, after villagers reportedly attacked and detained a tehsildar, who went to the village to oppose locals from celebrating Ganesh Puja in view of Covid pandemic.

According to sources, Digapahandi tehsildar Adaitwa Kumar Swain along with an enforcement team and Nuapada Outpost police reached the village after receiving information that some locals are celebrating Ganesh Puja at community level by violating COVID-19 restrictions.

When the tehsildar opposed the celebrations, irate villagers gheraoed the officials and detained them for around three hours. The situation took a violent turn when Swain sealed two ration shops and imposed fine on violators. The angry mob pelted stones at the officials’ vehicles but fortunately, they managed to narrowly escape the attack.

“We are identifying the people involved in the attack and FIR will be filed against them,” said Sinde Dattatreya Bhau Saheb, Berhampur sub-collector.

In a break from tradition, Odisha, this year, witnessed a subdued Ganesh Puja celebration due to COVID19 pandemic restrictions. Almost all districts in the State refrained from community level celebrations to check the spread of the virus.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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