Officials taken hostage by irate villagers

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Berhampur (Orissa), Nov 24 (UNI) Irate villagers have taken Mohana's Tahasildar and the Block Development Officer (BDO) as hostage in protest against the killing of one person in firing by the CRPF jawans.

The villagers action came after one Junesh Raita was killed in CRPF firing during anti-Maoist operation on November 22 .

Angry villagers of Kutunigonda, under Paniganda panchayat in Mohana block in Gajapati district, took Mohana Tahasildar Bedabar Pradhan and Block Chairman Prasant Kumar Mallick as hostage to fulfill their demand.

The two officials were taken hostage after they went to the village to persuade the village chiefs to withdraw the 'rasta roko' at Adaba.

However, the villagers had let off R.Udayagiri BDO Rajendra Nanda who also accompanied Bedabar and Prasant.

Though the villagers have withdrawn the rasta roko since yesterday, they have been insisting Rs 10-lakh compensation to the 2-year-old daughter of Junesh, who was a widower.

The body of Junesh which was lying on the spot, was later sent to MKCG Hospital Berhampur in Ganjam district for postmortem .

The Assistant Engineer of R Udayagiri, GPO and two locals brought the body to Mohana in an ambulance, according to some block officials.

Meanwhile, Gajapati Collector D V Swamy, Superintendent of Police Safin Ahmed along with some senior officers of the district are camping at Adaba and monitoring the situation.

The Collector said negotiations are on with the villagers to find a way out to solve the crisis.

He denied that the two officers were taken hostage by the villagers. The Tahasildar, the collector said, went to the village to find an amicable solution and still negotiating with the villagers.

The district administration has agreed in principle to help the little child with a package within the framework of the Government rules.

The villagers were also demanding a compensation of Rs 40,000 for one cow shot dead by the CRPF. Three bullocks had also sustained injury after the CRPF opened fire, the villagers claimed.

UNI XC-DP KK AB 1802

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