Miscreants Posing As MVIs Thrash, Loot Tourists In Odisha

Balasore: Taking undue advantage of new Motor Vehicles Act, a group of miscreants today thrashed and looted pilgrims by posing as motor vehicle inspectors in broad daylight in Jaleswar area of Balasore district.

According to sources, a group of pilgrims from Bihar were travelling to Puri in several buses which were stopped near Laxmanath toll gate in Jaleswar area for inspection by some youths who identified themselves as Motor Vehicle Inspectors and Traffic Police.

As per reports, they demanded Rs 7000 as penalty from each bus on charges of violating traffic norms due to lack of valid documents. However, suspecting their activity, when some passengers of the bus asked for identity cards from the miscreants, they started misbehaving with the tourists.

Subsequently, tension erupted at the spot when the miscreants caught some tourists filming the incident on phones and thrashed them black and blue before extorting money. During the attack, driver of the bus and two women pilgrims sustained injuries.

In retaliation, while the tourists scuffled with the miscreants and managed to detain some of them, others fled the spot. Demanding action against the culprits, irate tourists blocked the main highway leading to disruption of vehicular communication in the area.

After getting information about the incident, police reached the spot to assess the situation. All the persons including the bus driver injured during the incident were sent for treatment at Jaleswar Hospital. Cops also took the detained persons into their custody.

Narrating the ordeal, Pawan Kumar Singh, one of the tourists said, “Identifying themselves as motor vehicle inspectors, some people waylaid our vehicle and demanded us to pay fine. They took away Rs 10,000 from me and destroyed my cell phone while I was filming the incident. Besides, they misbehaved with some of the women and looted their gold ornaments after attacking them.”

Meanwhile, it is being alleged that even though the tourists handed over the detained miscreants, police showed unwillingness to take action against all of them as one of the youths involved in the incident was a cop. Questions have also been raised over the role of the cops as the entire incident was recorded in CCTV camera installed at the tollgate.

Jaleswar SDPO Sudarsan Das clarified that police has detained two youths for questioning in connection with the matter. Asked about the incident, State Transport Minister Padmanabha Behera said stringent action will be taken against the culprits after a probe into the matter.