Tribals clash with police, arrested

Bhubaneswar: Over 100 people including at least 50 women were arrested on Monday following a clash between police personnel and activists of a tribal outfit.

Earlier in the day, scores of tribal men and women congregated at VSS Nagar here and staged a demonstration as a result of which the road connecting the national highway No 5 was blocked for over four hours.

The vehicular traffic came to standstill following the agitation by tribal outfit Dalit Adivasi Suraksha Manch.

The protestors then marched towards the NH-5 and sat on a dharna demanding fulfillment of demands.

They were demanding correction of sub-caste ‘Sabara’ from ‘Saara’ and ‘Mehetar’ instead of ‘Mehentar’ recorded in the pattas (land documents).   

Despite discussions with police personnel and state government, the agitators were in no mood to budge. When the police went ahead to diffuse the situation, the protestors resorted to stone pelting thereby injuring several policemen.

Following this, police resorted to baton charge to ward off the agitating tribals.

“The leaders of the tribal outfit held discussions with bureaucrats. When we tried to pacify the situation, they resorted to stone pelting following which we were forced to lathicharge to ward them off,” Commissioner B K Sharma Lal said.

In the incident, over 100 tribals including at least 50 women were arrested today.