Tribals torch house of sarpanch who kidnapped woman

Bhawanipatna: Tension ran high at Dunguripadar village under Kalahandi Sadar police limits this morning after irate tribals set fire to the house of the husband of Thuapadar sarpanch, who had allegedly kidnapped a tribal woman of the village a month ago.

The enraged tribals also attacked a police team when it tried to prevent them from setting the sarpanch’s house on fire.

Reports said Doctor Harpal, husband of Thuapadar sarpanch Dahana Harpal, had kidnapped a tribal woman of Dunguripadar village a month ago. The incident had triggered anger among the tribals.

Though the police did not reveal details to the media, sources in the village said the villagers’ ire came out in the open when Doctor Harpal arrived in the village with the tribal woman today.

Following the news, hundreds of tribals, including women, armed with traditional weapons, went to the house of the sarpanch and set it on fire. They also set fire to a Bolero jeep, a bike and a power tiller parked in front of the house of the sarpanch. The angry tribals also ransacked the house of the brother of Doctor Harpal and set it on fire.

Following information, a team of Sadar police rushed to the village. But the tribals did not allow them to enter the village. A scuffle ensued between them in which five policemen, including the Sadar SDPO, Sadar IIC, ASI, were injured.

Talking to media persons, Akshaya Kumar Dash, Additional SP, Kalahandi said Doctor Harpal is accused in several cases of anti-social activities in the past.

“Police had earlier managed to normalise the situation through a series of meetings with the villagers on this matter. But the situation became tense after Doctor Harpal kidnapped a 36-year-old tribal woman of the village and took her to Balangir a month ago,” he added.

He said the tribals have demanded the presence of Doctor Harpal and the tribal woman in the village.

Asked whether the police has been able to arrest the tribals, Dash said it was not possible as the tribals were armed with bows and arrows, axes and lathis.

Meanwhile, additional police forces have been deployed in and around the village to ward off any untoward incident.