Villagers kidnap 8 more forest officials in Similipal

Baripada: Eight more persons were taken hostage by irate villagers of the core area of Similipal National Park area on Wednesday to press their demand for release of four persons arrested by the forest department on charges of poaching.

Regional Chief Conservator of Forest in charge of the Tiger Project in the National Park, Anup Nayak said of the eight abducted four are forest department workers and the four locals who are employed as protection assistants while they were on duty.

Residents of Gopinathpur, core area village in the national park in Odisha`s Mayurbhanj district had taken one forester and a protection assistant hostage yesterday.

Nayak said efforts were on to free all of them. Police said the kidnapped forest officials and the protection assistants were kept at the village primary school and were being guarded by 200 villagers round the clock.

Meanwhile, the four arrested villagers were during the day produced at the sub-divisional judicial magistrate`s court at Karanjia which sent three of them to jail custody and acquitted one.