Angry over order on ration card return, mob ransacks Gumma block office

Gajapati/Bhubaneswar: Tension ran high in the premises of Gumma block office today when a mob protesting against the directive asking ineligible beneficiaries of the National Food Security Act (NFSA) to return their ration cards ransacked the Gumma block office and fought a pitched battle with police personnel present at the spot injuring 10 of them.

A crowd of over a hundred gathered in front of the Gumma block office protesting against the directive asking ineligible beneficiaries having three-room houses to return their ration cards. A scuffle ensued between them and police when they attempted to barge into the office. The mob entered the office and ransacked it and pelted stones at the cops leaving 10 police staff, including a DSP and an assistant sub-inspector, injured.

Subadara Pradhan, BDO, Gumma, said, “The police and district administration officials tried to dissuade the angry public, but the situation went out of control,” adding he will lodge a case against people involved in ransacking the office.

The situation was brought under control when the district administration mobilised more police force from Paralakhemundi.

Utkal Ranjan Das, SDPO, Paralakhemundi, said, “The mob pelted stones and asked for the BDO to come out of the office building. When he did not come out, they ransacked the office.”

A similar incident happened in Rourkela when activists of the district Congress ransacked the Supply office alleging collection of 10 per cent fine from ineligible beneficiaries returning their ration cards.

Biren Senapati, president, Rourkela Congress Committee, said, “Poor people are returning their ration cards out of fear. But fine is being collected from them causing a mental stress. Today Congress is protesting against that.”

Meanwhile, BJP activists in Kuchinda in Sambalpur held a rally in the town along with more than a hundred beneficiaries and submitted a memorandum addressed to the Collector.

Commenting on the BJP rally, Rabinarayan Nayak, Kuchinda MLA, said, “I have asked the beneficiaries not to their return the cards if they are following the rules.”