Arms seized, 6 held as police avert clash between groups

Bhubaneswar: Police today claimed to have averted a possible clash between two warring groups at Suramani village under Sorada police station area of Odisha’s Ganjam district.

A haul of firearms, including five country-made guns, over 100 crude bombs and explosive materials were seized yesterday from the members of one of the groups, ‘Sihala’.

“20 persons were busy making crude bombs near the village when police raided the area. While many fled the spot by hurling bombs, six persons were arrested,” said SK Jena, inspector in-charge of Sorada police station.

No police personnel was injured in the incident, he said,adding, those who fled have been identified and search is on to arrest them.

“They were making crude bombs to attack their rivals from ‘Gouda’ group,” police said.

Police had arrested 10 persons belonging to ‘Gouda’ group on August 10 and seized 10 country-made guns and 50 crude bombs from their possession.

The ‘Sihala’ and ‘Gouda’ group have been baying for each other’s blood over allegations of witchcraft by members of each group for the past six to seven years.

At least 25 cases have been registered against them since 2010 and more than 100 persons have been arrested.